If money was no object, we would visit this French icon’s establishment frequently. When we were there you had to be prepared to spend between $600 and $1,000 for a meal for two. It could be much more depending on diners’ menu choices and their wine selection.
Class Of Restaurant Gourmet
Days-Hours Of Operation: Thursday and Friday’s for lunch 1 pm to 2:30 pm and Monday through Friday from 8 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner.
Executive Chef Alain Ducasse
General Manager: Denis Courtiade (has worked with Alain Ducasse for 11 years)
Handicapped Access Yes
Location Off the Champs Elysees area in the prestigious eighth arrondissement
Metro Line 1 FDR or Alma Marceau
Owned-Managed: Hotel Plaza Athénée, a member of the Dorchester Group
Pastry Chef: Frédéric Robert (has worked with Alain Ducasse for 23 years)
Sommelier Laurent Roucayrol the day we visited. Wine list for all Alain Ducasse properties designed by Gérard Margeon.
Type Of Food Contemporary French
Year Opened-Renovated: 2000
Wine And Spirits Details Cellars were headed by Gérard Margeon, the head sommelier for all the Ducasse restaurants. They boasted of having wines from 1001 French vineyards. We enjoyed our multi course meal with a 2001 Saint-Joseph Saint-Pierre Yves Cuilleron. This was followed by a 1998 Le Clémentin du Chateau Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan.
Our Seasonal Collection meal was delicious; from the dry Paul Drouet aperitif champagne to the mignardises at the end. We began a crescendo of dishes with a serving of delicate shrimps with oscietra caviar. The duck liver foie gras was smooth and tasty. The subtle Brittany lobster spiced with curry was followed by Alba truffle flavored chicken. After a cheese course, we transitioned to a caramel pear and ice cream dessert.
Few restaurants are able to match the artistry of the main meal with the desserts. Our sweet course was an example of a dessert that reached the heights of the meal. There were so many petit four choices with coffee we were unable to sample them all. We particularly remember the red berry candy.
Other When we visited the restaurant, each table was placed at a discreet distance from the next. This afforded guests privacy during their meals. A staff of 55 was dedicated to diners’ culinary needs. The Plaza Athénée Restaurant is one of three renowned restaurants operated under the Alain Ducasse, “a purveyor of happiness and pleasure,” name. They are: Essex House in the U.S. (New York), France (this restaurant) and Le Louis XV in Monaco.
When we were there, the restrooms available to restaurant guests were shared with lobby and tea guests. We were disappointed to find the restroom overcrowded and dirty, especially for the caliber of restaurant and hotel we were at. Frequent visits by maintenance staff or a separate restroom for Plaza Athénée guests would have been welcome.
Preferred Reservation Method Phone, email.
Service A restaurant of this caliber and prices should provide seamless service where staff is attentive to diners’ every need and the pace of their meal. The Plaza Athénée Restaurant lived up to that standard. In spite of a full dining room, the staff excelled in their attention to our lunch experience. They translated the French menu with fluid ease and responded to our questions without the slightest hint of snobbery or condescension.
Would You Dine There Again? Yes