Experience true Parisian luxury at its finest at the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, a gastronomic restaurant that has a 3 Michelin stars rating.
One of Paris’s eight officially-designated “palace” hotels, a distinction only given to the most esteemed 5-star establishments, the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée exemplifies the crème de la crème of Parisian high life. Set within the Plaza Athénée hotel, Alain Ducasse's gastronomic restaurant in Paris, France offers naturality, totally redefining French haute cuisine.
Alain Ducasse, born in 1956 on a farm in the Landes region, discovered the tastes of produce at an early age. At 16 the young cook entered a restaurant in France's southwest, then left to train with chefs such as Michel Guérard, Gaston Lenôtre, Alain Chapel and Roger Vergé with whom he discovered provincial cuisine. For Alain Ducasse, the chef is the liaison between nature and humanity, the artisan whose role is to make happy those he feeds. He believes that cuisine brings together and expresses strong values such as generosity, sharing, tolerance and open-mindedness. In 2005, Alain Ducasse became the first chef to have 3 restaurants awarded with 3 Michelin stars at the same time. Arguably the world's most visible chef, Ducasse surprises at the Plaza Athenee, devoting himself entirely to vegetables, grains and fish, and mixing the most luxe with the humblest ingredients.
From the moment you enter the glittering dining room, alight with a chandelier of individual Swarovski crystals whose reflection sparkle on the surface of huge silver bells recalling the service bells used in aristocratic households of yesteryear, you know you are in for an exquisite experience. Solid oak tables, surprisingly without linen, beckon the hand to caress them. Comfortable, leather chairs with soft cushions glide in silence. Everything has been engineered for the guests' delight. Staff are superbly informal, all smiles and nothing is too much trouble. They clearly have great knowledge on every dish served. It is, however, a formal restaurant in that dinner jackets are required for male guests, and must be worn throughout.
But where Plaza Athenee really shines is their naturalness cuisine prepared by Chef Romain Meder and his team. Native of Franche-Comté, Romain did his training in France and then realized his traveling dreams by exploring the world discovering new flavours. He worked for a year in the British West Indies where he became acquainted with Caribbean spicy cuisine. Approximately two years after his return, Alain Ducasse took notice of Meder and called him to his side at the Plaza Athénée, first as chef-de-partie and then as sous-chef before being named Executive Chef at only 36 years old. Chef Romain executes many of Ducasse's own recipes: caviar over tender langoustine in a lemongrass-infused broth, a stack of lacy buckwheat blini accompanied by lentils, and caviar in a smoked gelée topped with ethereal truffle cream.
At Plaza Athenee dishes are constantly changing. Yesterday’s starters may include caviar sitting on a bed of green puy lentils and subtle smoked haddock jelly. But today the starters could be lightly pickled roots served on a bed of aubergine caviar with a side of pumpkin seeds and delicate tuna on a seeded biscuit. The variety is due to the ingredients continually changing with what is in season.
Don’t fill up on the amazing starters though, as the entrees are equally divine. Atlantic seabass served with young leeks and black olives; Bar de l’Antlantique Saigné (bleeding bass) served with pungent Jerusalem artichokes and shavings of black truffle; Brittany lobster served with smoked cabbage and miniature brussels sprouts, candied clementines and a very delicate broth…heavenly. A favorite of many is the intriguingly named Vegetable Limonade, a French style glass full of lemonade with a frozen golf ball sized, very delicate vegetable consommé floating in it. It is an amazing sensation to start by drinking lemonade with the vegetable taste coming through as the ice melts. Each dish is delivered with precise instructions on how to eat them.
To satisfy your sweet tooth you may enjoy the signature Chocolat d’Alain Ducasse in an outsize Fairtrade cocoa bean shell (it is everything you ever wanted in a dessert) or thelemon ice with candied lemon and silky kombu seaweed which take the notion of dining for pleasure and health to all new heights.
Dining at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee is truly magnificent in a sensational setting unlike any other. It is no wonder they have earned 3 Michelin stars and is the perfect place to experience Parisian true luxury at its finest!