This extravagantly showy restaurant stuns with neo-Baroque details, yet it manages to be upstaged by its product: the superb cuisine of Alain Ducasse, one of the world's most respected chefs. He leaves the Louis XV kitchen, for the most part, in the more-than-capable hands of Chef Franck Cerutti, who draws much of his inspiration from the Cours Saleya market in Nice. Glamorous iced lobster with chestnuts and Alba white truffles slum happily with stockfish (stewed salt cod) and tripe. The decor is magnificent—a surfeit of gilt, mirrors, and chandeliers—and the waitstaff seignorial as they proffer a footstool for madame's handbag. In Ducasse fashion, the Baroque clock on the wall is stopped just before 12—Cinderella should have no fears. If your wallet is a chubby one, this is a must. The 400,000 bottles in the wine cellar should offer you enough of a choice.
Hôtel de Paris, Pl. du Casino, unknown, 98000, Monaco
May 1, 2007
It's hard to call a $200 per person dinner - before wine and tip - a bargain. But it was. We've eaten at almost twenty three-Michelin-star retaurants; this is high end of that lofty range. The food was extravagant and exquisite. The service unobtrusive and impeccable. The atmosphere over-the-top (yes, they have the requisite 20-foot gilt-and-painted ceiling, and foot-stools for the ladies purse and for your camera to rest). I've been to the
restaurant five times, and have never been less-than-ecstatic about the experience.