Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse : La Apoteosis Neoclásica

This restaurant has the wealthiest clientele in the world. One need only glance at the parking lot to confirm the suspicion: Ferraris, Rolls Royce… it looks like they’re about to celebrate a luxury vehicle Grand Prix. 500,000 bottles with 6,100 references await the champions here – they are legion: around 100,000 just of champagne are opened every year between the Hotel de Paris and the Hermitage, which share the best treasure of viticulture in the restaurant world. In Monte Carlo, those who aren’t princes are usually kings… or more. Who else would be dining with gold plated cutlery in a room covered in gold leaf… and with a court of waiters dressed in frocks designed for the occasion. For such fantastic reality, with far more reality than fantasy, Alain Ducasse and the Société des Bains de Mer have constructed the Palace that every Prince Charming dreams of.
With regard to Alain Ducasse, we must go over a few of the many reasons he is so spectacular. With his noble intelligence he created the most famous and prestigious multinational that exists in haute cuisine. He manages dozens of establishments, among which we are obligated to mention the most reputed: Alain Ducasse in the Plaza Athénée and Le Louis XV, both with three Michelin stars. The truth is that both the Parisian establishment and this one in Monaco have far exceeded the foresight of the red guide: they could perfectly well award them with five stars and still be coherent with their editorial philosophy. These restaurants deserve it. Michelin never knew how far it could go.
Obviously, creating such an empire requires a privileged, exceptional mind that first understands the tastes and desires of the majority of people in the world. That is something that Ducasse knows better than anyone; just look at what he has accomplished. Then, of course, you must know how to organize a platoon of professionals to fully respond to the expectations and endless demands that must be met every single day. No one ever doubted his capacity to organize and direct teams. He started the most important culinary school on the planet, without which he could have never triumphed so in his empire. He is stern, calculating, mathematical… infallible.
He practices nothing short of perfect cuisine, with respect and even reverence of his inherited cultural patrimony, whether it be universal or local, and a strong tendency to take inspiration from popular recipes. He recreates traditional, long-standing dishes and refines them to an unspeakable point. In short, he takes the tradition of Escoffier and regional traditions and products, with a special predilection for all things Mediterranean, and produces a lavishly gourmet experience. He is an evolutionist that never questions the historical flavor archive. Subtle reform… ad infinitum. And this reform is concretized using the most superb product on the planet. No expense is spared when searching for the most oceanic oysters, the most select truffles, the most exquisite squabs… delicacies that are treated with sublime precision, practically unsurpassable. The technique in product service and complements bursting with erudition, whether they are sides or sauces, are truly elegant and balanced. One is left with nothing else to say but, “What beauty!” Bravo Monsieur Ducasse!
Franck Cerruti angelically interprets the work of this legend, the greatest neoclassical culinary artist, on a daily basis. Two appetizers that steal your heart reflect the passion that the owner feels for landscapes and customs: herb-filled ravioli with lime confit and exuberant “crudités” with a sauce of herbs (mostly basil) and Parmesan. Once into the sublime main dishes, an august natural purity of vegetables prevails: exquisite lettuce and watercress cream with diverse caprices swimming in the broth: green ravioli, ricotta gnocchi and baby vegetables. The wonderful dwarf calamari, the size of a single bite, were exultantly fresh, presented sautéed in the company of idyllic contrasts: artichokes, Menton lemon confit, pitted black olives and capers and a drizzle of black sauce made from the ink. The homage to cod is beyond succulent, served as immaculate and incredibly juicy slices. The gelatinous tripe with superb accompaniments: sausage, red pepper and lettuce… simply indulgent. Splendid both for its intrinsic quality and the virtuosic preparation, the Pyrenees lamb – ribs, shoulder, filet, sweetbreads, kidney and offal (liver, heart and lungs) – flavorfully dressed with Espelette pepper and served on what seems to be half of a garden full of vegetables in which the fava beans and scallions with winter savory stood out; immense. In a similar tone, the diverse pieces of noble rabbit with red wine sauce, grilled radicchio trevisano and panisses. And in accordance with the finest pastry techniques on the planet, the “mignardises” and chocolates. That is, if you like, a feast in the palace of Louis XV.

98000 Monte Carlo, Monaco
Hôtel de Paris. Place du Casino.
Closed: Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Wednesday nights are open only in July and August. December and two weeks in February.
E-mail: lelouisxv@alain-ducasse.com
Price: 225/350 €
Tasting menus: 150 and 180 €

1.- Crudites
2.- Crema de lechuga y berros con raviolis y ricotta
3.- Calamares con alcachofas, limon confitado, olivas negras y alcaparras
4.- Cordero al pimiento de Espelette con habas y cebolletas a la ajedrea