We distinctly remembered his gift with seafood and were pleased to rediscover his marvelous dishes at the new venue. The whole meal evoked the ocean with its flavors and aromas. Chef Briffard’s skills were very much in evidence. And, as in the past, we enjoyed dining in the handsome dining room. Sommelier Thierry Hamon’s wine pairing enhanced our meal, bringing out the subtle seafood taste without ever overwhelming the dishes.
Lunch at Le Cinq was well rounded and delicious and definitely worth a repeat visit. We look forward with enthusiasm to following Chef Briffard’s promising path at Le Cinq.
Eventually, Chef Briffard headed the kitchen of Les Elysees du Vernet in Paris for several years before arriving at Le Cinq. Prior to joining Les Elysees du Vernet in December of 2002, Briffard headed La Régence, the gourmet restaurant at the Plaza Athenee Hotel. Earlier in his career he was executive chef of the Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo. He was also executive chef at Jamin restaurant in Paris. His mentors were Joel Robuchon, Marc Meneau and Philippe Groult. In 1994, he received the presidential medal for Meilleur Ouvrier (Best Craftsman of France).
About The Head sommelier Thierry Hamon, a graduate of the Lycée Hôtelier of Dinard, France, began his career in 1995 with Eric Beaumard as a Commis at La Poularde a restaurant in Montrond-les-Bains, France. He worked there for two years before heading to Oxford where he joined the team of the French restaurant Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons. Later he returned to La Poularde where he worked for another two years before joining the crew of the George V Paris in December 1999, when the hotel reopened. He served as sommelier at the side of Eric Beaumard, and became assistant to the restaurant’s former wine steward, Enrico Bernardo, in April 2000.
Executive Chef Eric Briffard
Executive Sous Chef Alan Davy
Handicapped Access Yes, there is a special ramp available to access the main entrance of the hotel and the stairs to go to the restaurant’s restrooms. Le Cinq is on the ground level.
Location In the lobby of the prestigious George V hotel in the ultra chic eighth arrondissement
Managed Four Seasons
Owned Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
Pastry Chef Fabrice Leclair
Restaurant Manager Eric Beaumard who was voted 2003 Sommelier of the year by his peers in the French magazine Le Chef .
Size The 183 square meter restaurant had a staff of 100 and capacity for 55 guests.
Type Of Restaurant French gourmet haute cuisine
In a classical Anglo French style, the decoration combined two Louis XIV cupboards and golden Louis XVI “medallion” chairs with regency tables and mahogany console tables. The restaurant also featured French classical draped curtains in grey damask, gold and grey fabrics on walls and gold embossed velvet armchairs. Two massive Regency mirrors in sculpted golden wood were included to add depth to the space by reflecting the Marble Courtyard. Two grand Regency console tables separate the main restaurant room from the “tabled’hôtes” for ten.
The china was created by Philippe Deshoulières from a by Pierre Yves Rochon. The presentation plate was white crossed by a broad grey stripe. In the center of the plate there was a reproduction of an emblematic cameo that can be seen on the top of each wall of the restaurant.
The cellars 50,000 bottles were 14 meters below the ground in a former stone quarry used in part to build the Arc de Triomphe. Eric Beaumard is credited with building the cellar inventory when the restaurant reopened after a closure in the 1990s. The hotel also owned two secondary cellars, one housing 100 champagne varieties and a third in the outskirts of the city where 10,000 bottles are aging comfortably. To keep the cellars current, the staff add 20 new selections a week.
Special Menus A three course lunch menu for 85 euros, a five course light tasting menu for 160 euros and an eight course gourmet menu for 230 euros. Menu prices excluded beverages.
For our first course my lunch partner had Foie gras de canard des Landes à la vapeur au gingembre, crème de lentilles vertes, anguille laquée au Sansho, épinards du jardin (duck liver from the Landes region steam with ginger, cream of green lentil eel glazed Sansho garden spinach) and I had Tourteau de Cancale, crème froide au vin jaune, petals de Daikon marines au miel/epices . We placed our confidence in the wine steward for the meal. For the first course he served us Sancerre Domaine Vacheron 2007.
For our second course we both had delicious and perfectly prepared Langoustines de petite peche dorees au romarin et a la noisette, Pomme Reinette au beurre sale (sauteed prawns with rosemary, hazelnuts, Reinette apples and salted butter). This dish was accompanied by a delicate Pouilly Fusee Les Reisses Domaine Denogent 2006. Next, we had Troncon de Turbot sauvage aux fins coquillages, Jus granny/wasabi, pommes de terre de Noirmoutier aux algues (wild turbot with fine shellfish, granny juice/wasabi, and Noirmouier potatoes with sea kelp). We had a rare Chateaunefu du Pape blanc Domaine Clos du Caillou 2006 (a favorite) with the turbot. After the fish we had a cheese course to cleanse our palate: a lovely Swiss cheese, Livarot, and a Saint- Nectaire.
The chef then sent granite of raspberry, litchi, and pink champagne. For dessert I had Givre d’ananas a l’hibiscus mousseux aux litchis (finely dices pineapples with hibiscus mousse and litchi) and my lunch partner had a Vienetta glace au café Blue Mountain, Nougatine parlinee croustillante (ice cream of Blue Mountain coffee with crunchy nougat praline). The sommelier brought a Barsac Les Cypres de Climens 2002.
A selection of chocolates, marshmallow and caramels was served with our verbena and coffee.
The restaurant relied on three vegetable suppliers including one with organic produce exclusively. Our langoustines were delivered alive the morning we ate them. The turbot slices were from a 9 kilo fish.
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service The staff were polite, helpful and efficient, although at times they seemed a bit overwhelmed and preoccupied. Overall our meal was well served.
Would You Dine There Again-Recommend It? Yes