Awarded three stars by Michelin, Taillevent is one of the finest restaurants in the world. Todhunter spent several months working in its kitchen in preparation for the divine experience of eating a five-hour meal in the nineteenth-century dining room. From the amuse-bouche (a warm cheese puff to “amuse the mouth”) to the crowning glory of the fantasie, he perfectly captures the sensual pleasure of the meticulously served dinner. Along the way he expertly discusses everything from the state of French haute cuisine and the complexity of running a renowned restaurant to the chemistry of chocolate and the history of salt. A Meal Observed is a rare treat, a paean to the French and French cuisine that is as enchanting and richly satisfying as the meal it describes.