One of the reasons I go to France every year is to eat Carpaccio de Boeuf. It is the perfect summer meal whether you are in Paris, Versailles or on the French Riviera. One summer in France, I made it my mission to compare restaurants’ versions of this dish, and ordered it every where I went. The following restaurants came out on top:

  • La Petite Venise in Versailles. This elegant restaurant is located within the gardens of Versailles, a bit away from the crowds, where you can enjoy a moment of peace after walking through the mirrored hallways and lavish apartments of the French royalty. You can dream of Marie Antoinette as you dine near the Grand Canal, and enjoy a perfect plate of Carpaccio de Boeuf.
  • Le Museé d’Orsay in Paris. Talk about an ornate and luxurious setting, this is it! Since you should not miss the Museé d’Orsay on your visit to Paris, then just plan on having your lunch in this lovely French dining room, complete with chandeliers, statues of Greek goddesses, and a patio overlooking the Seine. Did I mention you should try the Carpaccio de Boeuf?
  • Paloma Beach on St. Jean Cap-Ferrat (the French Riviera).  This is where you will find me in my dreams. Sitting on this little beach in the South of France, eating Carpaccio de Boeuf and enjoying a glass of chilled white wine after my hike around Cap-Ferrat.

So what is Carpaccio de Boeuf exactly? 

Raw, paper-thin slices of beef, usually served with fresh arugula and shaved slices of Parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, add salt and pepper, and you’re ready for this heavenly meal.

I first tasted this delicacy in Paris during the Mad Cow scare of the mid-90s, and since I haven’t been hospitalized even once since then, I continue to eat it as often as possible when I’m in France. You only live once after all!

As I said, if you’re hesitant, then don’t think about what it is. Just give it a try. The spectacular settings and the fresh flavors will win you over, and give you yet another reason to return to France as often as possible.