We told our foodie friends about this up and coming restaurant and chef we found worth visiting. Relying on the reputation of the hotel and prestigious location, we had dined at the famed Les Ambassadeurs (French for the ambassadors) on a previous occasion and had been somewhat disappointed. When we heard things were changing, we jumped at the opportunity to sample the “new” cuisine.
The changes in décor and service were subtle. During our initial visit, the service had been outstanding and the old dining room noteworthy; it was the food we were thought could improve. This time, the service was punctilious and the dining room had a warmer and more modern look that emphasized the classic historic ambiance without intimidating the diner.
What about the food? It too had improved and more noticeably. The refined flavors were heightened and the overall menu selections were in harmony. From the starters to the dessert, the meal was delicious, and the dishes were skillfully prepared and elegantly served.
About The Executive Chef
A native of southeastern France (Drome), chef Piége started out aspiring to be a gardener. He began his career at Chabichou in Courchevel. Went on to the Chateau Eza on the French Riviera. From there, he transferred briefly to the Hotel de Crillon. Later, while in the military, he worked in the kitchens of the presidential palace. He went on to collaborate with Bruno Cirino at Les Elysees. Eventually he worked at Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV and Plaza Athénée restaurants.
Chefs De Cuisine Yann meinsel and Christophe Saintagne
Executive Chef Jean-Francois Piége
Handicapped Access We were told staff assist guests regularly to cross over the four steps at the entrance. Restrooms were a level below the restaurant which could be reached by stairs or elevator.
Head Sommelier David Biraud
Location In the lobby of the famous Hotel de Crillon on the place de la Concorde
Managed Concorde Group
Owned Taittinger family
Pastry Chef Jérôme Chaucesse
Restaurant Manager Patrice Willems
Size Seating capacity for 45
DÉCor-Ambiance With the arrival of a new hotel executive manager, Franka Holtmann, and new executive chef Piége, came subtle decorative alterations to the 1,400 square foot dining salon including champagne beige curtains to enhance the light flowing from the neighboring Place de la Concorde and lighter colored chairs and tables to complement the color of the marble. The grand chandeliers were restored. Interior architect Sybille de Margerie dedicated her efforts to “highlight tradition while welcoming modernity.” Designer Mercedes Calderon, reworked staff uniforms, including tuxedos, more informal attire.
Cellars Wine And Alcoholic Beverage Selection
Les Ambassadeurs had a collection of more than 38,000 bottles.
Special Menus Lunch menu including appetizer, main course and dessert (70 euros), a business menu of appetizer, main course and dessert with drinks (100 euros) and Sunday bruch (60 euros)
We started with toasted bread and black truffle butter, 1996 Taittinger rose champagne. From there several courses followed: Caviar oscietre, nage corsée, langoustines
(shrimp in a caviar sauce); casse croute de noix de saint Jacques/chou/tartufi di Alba (
scallops with Alba truffles) ; blanc a manger d’œuf, comme une meurette; pigeonneau désossé/foie gras, jus a l’olive
(deboned pigeon and liver with olive oil) ;
and fromages affinés pour nous
The desserts included : comme un vacherin, passion banane/coco (a passion fruit, banana and coconut combo) ; variation d’une buche de Noel, marron/mandarine ( a holiday dessert style sweet with chestnuts and tangerine) ; and fraises des bois/glace a la rose, jus de fraise facon Chabrot (forest strawberries accompanied with rose ice cream and strawberry sauce Chabrot style).
We had a Saint Joseph “Mairlant” 2002 F. Villard and a Les Baux de Provence “Dom Hauvette” 1997 D. Hauvette with the meal.
Other Les Ambassadeurs was recognized with: 2 plates in the guide Pudlo Paris 2005 edition, “Chef of the Year” and 4 points (highest score) in the 2005 Champérard guide, 3 stars by the 2005 Bottin Gourmand and 2 stars in the 2005 Michelin Guide.
Date Of Review
2004 2008 2010
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service The service was efficient and punctilious.
Would You Dine There Again-Recommend It? Yes