The Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at Hôtel de Paris
Reopened this past April after major renovations, the Louis XV has a majestic interior décor that combines vestiges of its heritage with contemporary furnishings. Its culinary repertoire, orchestrated by chef Dominique Lory, is even more exceptional than before.
The cuisine at the Louis XV – Alain Ducasse, located in Monaco’s Hôtel de Paris, is totally a creation of the Riviera. Products, flavours, colours – the restaurant has them all. The fish are caught locally; the herbs and vegetables come from the neighbouring countryside. A few signature recipes are still on the menu, such as the Primeurs des jardins de Provence à la truffe noire, a star since 1987.
However, the lyrics to this melody celebrating a Mediterranean terroir have all been rewritten. Chef Dominique Lory and Alain Ducasse have devised a modern menu bursting with youth. Vigorous juices, intense bouillons and fresh condiments all reveal first and foremost accurate, precise flavours. “Ours is a seasonal Mediterranean cuisine, a bit more feminine than before. Our dishes are light and delicate, so customers can appreciate each of them without feeling too full,” commented chef Dominique Lory, who has been working with Alain Ducasse for eighteen years.
After starting with a range of tasty appetizers, you can choose among langoustine with chickpea purée, grilled wolffish with squash garnished with tart grapefruit, Chanterelle and lemon risotto or lobster with peaches, myrtles and ginger. Of course the menu changes with the seasons, but authenticity, freshness and respect for the products are year-round constants. “We work with many local producers, because product quality is an essential requirement,” explained Dominique Lory.
The desserts, concocted by the head pastry chef, are also remarkable. Spring honey mousse, hazelnut shortbread, rum baba: these creations always include the perfect surprise touch, something that piques the customer’s interest without being disorienting.
In the dining room: enchanting the customers
One thing that’s new at the Louis XV since it reopened is a magnificent and stately piece of furniture – the servery – located in the centre of the dining room. This is the hub around which the ballet of customer service revolves. Everything that is usually hidden away is front and centre here. This astonishing piece of furniture unfolds during the meal. An attendant is always there to prepare breads and dairy products. The sommeliers pick up glasses there. A cook is on the spot to season salads. At the end of the meal, a pastry chef prepares an ice or a sorbet, and the attendant readies the chocolates and coffees.
Decidedly, the Louis XV isn’t just a culinary experience. It’s an experience.
A few dates
- May 27, 1987: Prince Rainier III made Alain Ducasse manager of the restaurant and head chef for the Hôtel de Paris.
- 1990: The Louis XV was the first hotel restaurant to receive three stars in the Guide Michelin.
- July 2, 2011: Prince Albert II asked Alain Ducasse to design the dinner celebrating his wedding to Charlène Wittstock.
- November 2012: Over 200 famous chefs from 25 countries celebrated the Louis XV’s 25th anniversary.
- April 2015: The restaurant reopened after undergoing upgrading.
Hôtel de Paris
Place du Casino
MC 98000 Principality of Monaco
Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Pierre Monetta