Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jules Verne ( * )

The restaurant is on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower at 125 m above ground overlooking Paris. There is a private elevetor only for the restaurant, without the big queue of the tower. The chef is Pascal Féraud, it has 1 michelin star and belongs to Alain Ducasse's empire. 

For lunch there is a lunch menu available being the best value for money, as also the option of going a la carte and a degustation menu priced at 190 to 230 euros for 5 or 6 courses. For diner the two latter choices. 

We went for the lunch menu with starter, main course and dessert.

We started with some bread and butter and an amuse bouche. The amuse bouche was some finely chopped vegetables and bacon, covered by a light cream, to form a nice soup. 

The starter was a fantastic veloute soup with coquillages et crustacés and citrus. A rich dish as you would expect with the creme fraiche, while the acidity of the citrus worked well on that. 

The main course, guineafowl with black chanterelles (trompettes de mort), asparagus and chestnuts in a white sauce (again some stock of the bird with creme fraiche). A very rich dish, tender meat and generaly very good. 

The other main course was sea bass with mushrooms, figs, artichokes and eggplant mousse. The fish was cooked right on time keeping all of the juices with a crispy skin, but it was a small fillet by any means. 

The dessert, coffe and chocolate tarte accompanied by hazelnut sorbet. A crispy butter and chocolate biscuit base filled with milk chocolate, a thin layer of milk chocolate and on top coffe ganache. 

After the dessert we had some chocolates, vanilla macarons and marshmallows and some madeleines to take away.

The food was very good, well executed with nice ingredients. The service was good but nowhere near Louis XV. The best part was the veloute soup although the amuse bouche was flat and the bread average to bad. Booking a table prior to visit this restaurant will be essential , as there were no empty tables during my visit. 

If you dont mind that much about eating on the Eiffel tower, then book at Alain Ducasse at Le Meurice, his 3 star flagship. The lunch menu there starts at 85 euros for starter and main or 110 for starter main and dessert. 

See also:
Paul Bocuse, Lyon (3 Michelin stars)
Gordon Ramsay, RHR (3 Michelin stars)
La Pergola, Rome (3 Michelin stars)
Ledoyen,Paris (3 Michelin stars)
Laduree, macarons

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse ( *** )

One of the great restaurants in France. On the first floor of the Hotel de Paris in place de casino in Monaco, Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse. Despite Alain Ducasse's name in front of the restaurant don't expect to find him there in person. Having a big empire of restaurants worldwide, many in France, UK, Russia, Qatar, Tokyo, he spends his time travelling between them making sure everything is to his taste. For the Louis XV Franck Cerutti and Dominique Lorry are there to do the job.

As of 2015 Ducasse has 3 three michelin starred restaurants, Le Louis XV in Monaco, Le Meurice in Paris with Christophe Saintagne and lastly the Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester in London. His newly re-opened fish-vegetable-cereal oriented restaurant in Plaza Athenee gained already two stars, aspiring a third star next year.  

The restaurant has one of the biggest wine cellars in the world, with over 400.000 bottles of wine. There was a lunch menu with 3 courses, cheese, mignardises, a bottle of wine, a bottle of water and coffee, which we chose. There was also a menu for the 25 years of the restaurant with more courses including two desserts but no beverages.

We started with some bread and butter and an amuse-bouche. The bread is itself a reason to dine in this restaurant. There is a wide selection to choose. I took the borage (green) one, a baguette and later the semolina. All three were excellent. There were two types of butter, normal and salted. 

The amuse bouche, a soft mild taste bread with marinated anchovy fillet, quail egg, vegetables and salad leaves with extra virgin olive oil. A dish that can only stand on its own only if you have amazing quality ingredients. In Monaco vegetables, fruits and seafood are always of unparalleled quality, especially the ones used in restaurants of this calibre.  

The starter, rabbit roll stuffed with finely chopped spinach, with a mini salad of leaves and a small amount of dressing.

The main course was a locally caught fish made for 2 persons and then filleted on the table, after they presented it to us. The fish was as fresh as it possibly gets and had an amazing depth of flavor. The vegetables were cooked to perfection retaining their texture and flavor. On top the sauce was made of the juice of the fish. Such a simple dish was the best fish I have ever tasted, and as good as a fish someone is expecting it to possibly be. 

Comté, a cow blue cheese and Roquefort. Cheese was in excellent condition and came from Bernard Antony. 

The dessert, the famous Louis XV au croustillant de pralin. It has a crispy hazelnut base, chocolate ganache, topped with melted chocolate and a gold leaf. 

At the end of the meal we were offered some mignardises, lemon tarts, florentine biscuit, chocolates and vanilla macarons. 

The service was flawless, attentive, very professianl and friendly, the quality of the ingredients was superb and the food was cooked to perfection. If you combine them with the amazing setting, palacial interior decor or the exterior terrace with views of the casino square (ideal for watching the formula 1 race in May) you have one of the best restaurants in the world.