Thursday, May 5, 2011

Le menu de Monsieur Ducasse

What better way to mark a momentous birthday than with a stupendous feast?

We set out in the balmy evening for the Plaza Athenee in one of Paris' most chichi streets....

And we were ushered into a room decorated with chandeliers that would not be out of place in the Chateau de Versailles

It was a special occasion so we threw (dietary) caution to the wind and chose the menu degustation created by Alain Ducasse whose restaurant we were in.  Indulge me if you will with a post reliving such a gorgeous meal

 Before we could even begin with our meal, our palate was primed by the amuse bouche dishes they served us.  These are bite sized dishes created by the chef and served without being in the menu.

The first one came all wrapped up, complete with a clip...

 It opened to reveal two slices of toasted bread and various toppings...interesting start I'd have to say...
 It was followed by this beautifully wrapped up dish of.... fried frogs legs which I never would have guessed would cross my plate in such a place, but it did go beautifully with the cold sauce of mint...

And then the meal commenced in earnest

Langoustine topped with black caviar and a consomme of langoustine broth.. The contrast between the langoustine caviar duo served cold with the warm broth was an exquisite one and I was, we all were, in raptures over the broth. It was at once flavorful and wholesome without overwhelming the other half of the plate.

What followed was a very springlike and fresh dish of vegetables of the season, with peas being the dominant taste...

For me the highlight of the meal was this wonderful and exquisite dish of lobster and sea potatoes. It was absolute heaven and I lost all shame dipping my bread into the sauce repeatedly in order to get every last drop. Can't believe I just wrote that...

If that wasn't enough, we also had poularde ( a kind of chicken) de bresse (from a region renowned for this particular chicken) with creamy sauce and delightful morrilles mushrooms. Again, I scraped my plate clean...

And because this is a French meal, we had to have cheese.  So they wheeled out this huge rolling tray filled with various kinds of cheese, from the soft relatively odor free ones to the out- and- out- will- stop- -a- bear on its track kind.  I don't know what I was thinking when I asked for three kinds. But then again, there is a rule that says you have to take your cheese in threes....

And as I was by then stuffed to the gills, I forgot to take a photo of my cheese plate.

A nicely timed pause came when I realized that we could actually take a peek into their kitchen.  And I'm happy to report that it was spotless and as well organized as you could expect a three star Michelin kitchen can be.  See the counter in the middle of the kitchen? It serves to divide the meat from the fish sections as these dishes are prepared separately and independently.  They also had a separate section for their entrees and their pastries.

We didn't get to meet the man himself but we did get to meet the young and dynamic chef who presides over this impressive restaurant's operations.

 Did I say I was stuffed? Back at the table they weren't finished with us yet....

They started laying out chocolate and coffee macaroons and these terrifically light and thin almond and hazelnut cookies called tuiles d'amande and I couldn't stop my greedy fingers from picking up one and then another ....

And no, that wasn't dessert. This is what I had...a delicious confection of chocolate sorbet upon which they served thick hot chocolate and gold leaf foil! Decadant to say the least.

After I swore I couldn't take another bite, they wheeled out this beautiful tray filled with the most delectable caramel candies (caramel au beurre sale, caramel aux fruits exotiques et caramel pistache), fleur d'oranger flavored marshmallows, nougat and candied pears!

Did I resist and do the reasonable thing, given that gluttony is a sin? I'm afraid I couldn't resist the candied pear. The caramel, I took home to savor for another day!


  1. what a birthday!!! oh goodness, from the amuse bouche to the caviar to the bressian chicken (peter mayle devoted an entire chapter on these blue-legged chicken in one book, if i remember correctly) to the gold-leaf hot chocolate - this dinner is just unforgettable. such dizzying goodness! cheers!

  2. Very lovely! Now "that's" a celebration! :)

  3. I found your blog today through Design It Chic's blog hop. Your name caught my eye, and your blog is delightful.

    Hines-Sight Blog

  4. Happy birthday...oh I miss Paris!
    I'm now following you!
    Come on by and check out my Mother’s Day Rocks Blog Hop!
    The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

  5. Stopping by to say hello and to follow.
    have a great day!

  6. You were right about the feast being stupendous! Can't get over how much desserts they served! YUM!