The elegant dining room had high ceilings and lots of windows, and although it was almost completely full by the time we arrived, there was little noise. We could hear the light buzz of conversation as a senior staff member welcomed and ushered us to our table. Our burgundy and gold rose centerpiece matched the holiday decorations in the dining room and lent a festive air to our table. Classic French touches were everywhere including a handbag stool, beautiful china, silver, crystal glasses, champagne, cheese and after dinner drink carts, and wine decanting. Although the a la carte choices and wine selections could expand our expenses many times over the cost of an average lunch, our business lunch menu offered well prepared dishes, made with quality ingredients; and even the cheese was included. . For the cost of a reasonable business lunch menu even gourmet travelers on a “budget” could experience classic French dining at its best at Ledoyen.
From where we were sitting, we could see the Petit Palais beyond the light snow that was falling and imagine briefly the splendid ambiance of the restaurant in earlier times. Ledoyen offered one of the last truly affordable classic French luxury gourmet dining experiences in a magnificent classic French setting, with a view of the Petit Palais or the grand Champs Elysees and a highly desirable location in the heart of Paris. The meal was a delight. A handsome dining room, a chef who greeted guests at their tables at the end of the meal, and extraordinary food served with high professionalism made our visit to Ledoyen worth repeating.
Executive Chef Christian Le Squer
Handicapped Access Not available. Dining room is on the second floor reached via a staircase
Head Sommelier Géraud Tournier
Location Off the Champs Elysees across the street from the Petit Palais
Managed Groupe Epicure
Opened-Renovated Established in 1792 by Pierre Ledoyen. The most recent renovation was of the Offenbach meeting room on the ground floor and three small meeting rooms on the first floor, Les Cariatides.
Owned The city of Paris owns the building which is leased to Groupe Epicure
Pastry Chef Nicolas Gras
Restaurant Manager Patrick Simiand
Size The dining room could accommodate 50 guests in 120 square meters of space (approximately 1,200 square feet). The building had 1,000 square meters of indoor space including 10 meeting rooms with capacity ranging between 15 and 300.
Type Of Restaurant Classic French cuisine with contemporary touches
Meal We began the meal with rosé champagne coupes (Laurent Perrier non vintage available by the glass from a selection of several in a trolley) as aperitifs. They went well with the good-looking and delicious pre-appetizers served on a chilled gel base: miniature fried vegetable rolls, creamy salmon cubes, foie gras terrine sandwiches and skewered foamy and warm langoustines. These were followed by an airy mushroom mouse/soup. For appetizers we selected the scallops ( Noix de Saint-Jacques/Citron Rafraichis a l’Ecume de Mer ) and duck liver ( Foie Gras de Canard a la Gelee de Griottines ). Main courses were cod with potatoes and a truffle juice ( Effeeuillé de Morue Fraiche, Emulsion de Jus de Truffes aux Pommes “Ratte” ) and veal with a romaine lettuce salad ( Tranche de Veau de Lait, Salade Romaine Braisée ). The cheese cart with a broad selection options was next. Dessert and mignardises followed. For dessert we had well prepared Millefeuille tiède au Fruit de la Passion and Blanc Manger perfume de Zestes d’Agrumes .
Following our aperitifs, we accompanied the meal with a decanted 1983 St. Emilion Southard.
Special Menus A lunch menu for 45 euros offering an appetizer, main course, cheese course and dessert. We had a choice of one from among three options in each category. The cheese course offered multiple options. There was also a 144 euro menu and a similar menu including wine cost 244. These were available for lunch and dinner and consisted of a pre-appetizer, appetizer, a main course, a pre-dessert and a dessert.
In addition to the main dining room, there were a number of meeting rooms for special events and meeting: Les Cariatides, Le Cercle, Offenbach, Cocteau and Les Litteraires. The last one was named for the former regulars who frequented it: George Sand, Guy de Maupaassant, Gustave Flaubert and Anatole France.
Ease Of Making Reservations Although we were able to secure a table on short notice (the morning of the meal), the dining room was completely full and we saw them turn guests away shortly after our arrival at reception.
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service Staff were efficient, even punctilious and serious about their work. They made sure everything was placed just right on the table, including the positioning of the plates with the “L” on the top facing each diner. Our bread plates were refilled several times and the server explained, in English and French, what each of the four types of bread was made of. We were disappointed by the slightly superior attitude we noticed once or twice, especially when we asked for an after dinner drink and the server picked a bottle and served some of the contents into a glass without offering other choices or checking to see if we had liked it.
Would You Dine There Again-Recommend It? Yes