The dining room at Alain Ducasse's flagship Paris restaurant gleams with 10,000 crystals, confirming that this is the flashiest place in town for a blowout meal. Clementine-color tablecloths and space-age cream-and-orange chairs with pullout plastic trays for business meetings provide an upbeat setting for the cooking of young Ducasse protégé chef Christophe Saintagne. Some dishes are subtle, whereas in others strong flavors overwhelm delicate ingredients; service is
also a little inconsistent, with occasional long waits between courses. Even so, a meal here is delightfully luxe, starting with a heavenly amuse-bouche of perhaps langoustine with caviar and a tangy lemon cream. You can continue with a truffle-and-caviar fest, or opt for more down-to-earth dishes like lobster in spiced wine with quince or saddle of lamb with sautéed artichokes.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 25 av. Montaigne, 8e, Paris, 75008, France