Goust, Enrico Bernardo’s New Restaurant

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I moved to Paris over 10 years ago and when I arrived here I came alive again; I found my heartbeat again. I sat on the steps of the Sacré Couer looking out over the city and dared to imagine what it held for me. I came to Paris as a writer, the epitome of the cliché people would think…an American wanting to live the dream in Paris.

There are still times when I pinch myself at what I get to do for a living. There are moments I still feel like this little girl from Wisconsin who only ever dreamed of moving to New York City. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be working with the best people in Paris, designing experiences and meeting absolutely the most amazing people who hire me to help them with their trips.

A few months ago I had the privilege to meet a person I have admired for many years: Enrico Bernardo, a man considered by many to be the best wine sommelier in the world (he was named The Best Sommelier of the World in 2004 at the age of 27). Whilst I have reserved many clients at his restaurant, and always worked closely with Aline (an absolutely lovely lady who never fails to give my clients the best table) I had never met Monsieur Bernardo. Years ago Aline had invited me and my husband to have lunch at Il Vino d’Enrico Bernardo with compliments so we could finally meet – and it was, without a doubt exceptional! But I still did not meet Enrico…

So, I was thrilled when Aline invited me to try Goust d’Enrico Bernardo, Enrico Bernardo’s new restaurant near the Opéra Garnier. The dinner was exceptional and my friend, Azaa, and I both agreed it exceeded every expectation we had for a true food and wine pairing meal (which is hard to find nowadays).

However, the highlight came when a most gracious Enrico Bernardo came to our table to introduce himself and to say a very sincere merci for all the clients I have reserved at Il Vino over the years. Ah, but it was really a nice moment, actually it was an exceptional moment.

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A few weeks later Aline invited me back to Il Vino to see the new décor. Il Vino was closed for a month in the fall so they could do a complete renovation – and what a job they did! The interior is without a doubt one of the most romantic settings in Paris. So it helped that I was with my husband, Gary. I chuckled with Gary that now I don’t even know which restaurant to reserve people at as both are absolutely amazing….what a problem to have!

As we were wrapping up dinner over to our table walks Monsieur Bernardo – but this time he didn’t shake my hand and formally greet me. Rather, I hear my name and am greeted with a wonderful bisous like I am an old friend popping by for dinner. It was lovely atmosphere and the warm greeting both Gary and I received gave me a moment of pause. It made me think of all those years ago when I sat on the steps of Sacré Couer, looking out over Paris and writing in my journal: What does this beautiful city hold for me? If I were only to have known that the girl from Wisconsin would one day grow to know this grande dame in a way others dream of, that one day she would know great sommeliers, restaurateurs and the most private of guides – all while working with amazing families and even celebrities here in this little town called Paris, France.
If only she could have known…