French Restaurant in Monte Carlo, Monaco: Le Louis XV Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Le Louis XV HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Monte Carlo
Open: Lunch and dinner Mon - Fri
Price: Expensive

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +377 92 16 30 01
Address: Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino
Monte Carlo, Provence, 98000
Country: Monaco
Food Style: French

Our review of this restaurant was conducted before the rapid expansion of the Ducasse empire. It should be treated as of historical interest only. Franck Cerutti is a highly talented chef and his food is definitely worth a journey.
Le Louis XV is one of the best restaurants in the world. There is something about Alain Ducasse that is very, very special. Not only is he an artist in the kitchen, he also seems to have an eye for detail that ensures that his restaurants run like absolute clockwork without losing the human touch.
We had been driving around Provence for three days and had arrived in Monte Carlo late in the afternoon with the specific purpose of comparing this restaurant against its Paris twin which we had thoroughly enjoyed on one of our previous trips to France.
As you walk in to the stunning space to the side of the casino, you realise that you are approaching a very special event. The sign on the outside proclaims that this is an Alain Ducasse restaurant. This is enough for most seasoned restaurant goers to summon up a sense of excitement! This was true even though we had eaten at two of his country restaurants in the last two evenings.
There was a small hitch with our booking. Our names were not on the list!! They were on the original phone list however. The true professionalism of the restaurant shone through when they gave the impression that it was their fault and they would make amends by seating us at one of the best tables in the room. (As an interesting side note, this is one of the few restaurants we have been to where there really are no bad tables - unlike some of the highly touted restaurants in New York where they seem to manufacture them to make sure that their highly prized guests know that they are sitting at the best table.)
We were immediately at ease. The staff were welcoming and the space inviting. We were given time to peruse the menu, and the sommelier was interested in how we wanted to match the food and the wine.
There is really no need to tell you that the linen on the table was superb and the cutlery and crockery was the best that money could buy.
Tiny sandwiches of toast filled with carefully crafted dips arrived to help us through the menu reading. Once we had placed our order, a soup arrived unannounced. Asparagus puree poured over the freshest of goats cheese started the meal! The asparagus flavour just leaped off the plate. It was just amazing for such weary food tourists! This was pure essence of flavour that was designed to awaken our palates with pure, fresh flavours. And it worked.
We then moved on to the two dishes we had ordered. Even though we said we were happy to have our starters served at the same time and then we would swap the dishes - there was no way this was going to happen. We were served our starters separately and the dishes were plated for both of us.
The first was spring vegetables. We always crave for vegetables on an overseas trip and we had indulged ourselves at Celle near Brignoles on a recent evening. However we decided to have this style of dish again.
It was wonderful. The vegetables were fresh and vibrant and the potatoes were particularly good, reminding us that Canadians, Americans and Australians do not have a mortgage on the best potatoes in the world!
But the hit of the night came with the other starter. We had been intrigued by the fact that this restaurant was willing to serve intestines of stockfish (even though it is a local specialty). We thought that the clientele would be looking for foie gras, beluga caviar or other equally regal dishes. But here was a dish proudly proclaiming the local specialty that we had seen on a menu of a local bistro just two days before. We ordered it and we loved it!! The tomato and the blades of white flesh set off the tripe-like intestines of this fish to perfection. If only more top-end restaurants would have the confidence to serve local specialties like this!
We were then served a salad to prepare us for the main course. Some leaves of cos lettuce coated in a perfect dressing were placed on the table. We almost laughed out loud! The stems of the lettuce had been stripped back so that they resembled handles. We could grab the leaves by these handles and eat them without having to resort to using knives and forks.
For main course we decided to go against our normal tradition and order one dish for two. We liked the sound of the chicken with roasted endive. The leg was served on a side plate with chicory and the rest on the main plate along with the darkly roasted endive and the cooking juices. The dish was both simple and perfect.
For dessert we tried the chocolate rice souffle which was a pleasant mix of textures and we finished the meal with the best cup of coffee we have ever had in France!
It is difficult to say which of the two of his top end restaurants is the best. We probably still lean slightly to the Paris venue, but this restaurant is so close that it is difficult to set them apart. What we do know, however, is that they are both better than any other restaurant in the world that we have eaten at!
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