The ostentatious Hôtel Costes on rue Saint-Honoré has been showing off its upper-class finery since 1995, with its heavy carpeting and extravagant anachronistic details from decorator Jacques Garcia. He designed this little villa with echoes of Pompeii, a spacious atrium, brothel-like alcoves supported by columns, thrones dressed in Napoleon III purple velvet, antique bas-reliefs and neo-gothic light fixtures… The mega-wealthy clientele go all out in various states of undress, and chances are you might even catch a glimpse of someone you’ve seen on TV. The day we went for lunch, a waiter (unclear if he had just taken our order or gotten us into a stranglehold) brought over a bass tartare with generous amounts of spicy mayo (€28), before another, more considerate garçon placed some medallions of medium-rare crispy Peking duck in front of us, with white rice and a good Chinese sauce (€44). For dessert, out came a pavlova with whipped cream and berries (€22). Breaking news! Surprisingly, we’ve heard that the best escargots de Bourgogne in Paris are served here (€20 for six). As for the libations, there’s a Pouilly-Fumé from the Domaine de Ladoucette that gets the job done (€14 a glass) and, if you’re really thirsty, opt for the Pomerol 2009 from Petrus (€8,000 a bottle). It’s a veritable museum dedicated to hype that’s not all that low cost(es!)! À la carte €55-210. // A.A.