Monaco | Hôtel Metropole | Joël Robuchon

Snapshots from lunch at Joël Robuchon in Monaco ^_^

The last time I ate a Robuchon restaurant in was in Taipei last autumn. That was a memorable meal (we’re long overdue for another great solo meal!) but the food at his Monaco outpost is even better. 

We’ll start with warm, house-baked breads like a buttery brioche, saffron roll, and slices of a currant-walnut loaf…

…so many options and check out that butter!

Then it was onto an amuse of foie gras and raspberry…

…alongside jamón ibérico and…

…pan con tomate.

Moving on to little bites to share…like tapas only a million times more fancy. 

The Monte-Carlo is a signature of king crab, young vegetables, mozzarella, and avocado. 

And these are sardines with green asparagus and lemon confit from Menton (one day we shall visit Menton to see what all the fuss is about their lemons…supposedly the best in the world!)

Crab with avocado and semi-dried tomatoes. 

Purple artichokes with squid, thyme, and chorizo.

Langoustine and truffle-studded ravioli with stewed cabbage.

Onto to the entrees! Quail and…

…chicken fricassee with bacon and baby onions.

Both served with Robuchon’s beloved mashed potatoes…equal parts potatoes and butter.

Are you ready for the best part of the meal? Meet the dessert trolley.

This concoction is whipped cream and vanilla custard gently folded together, piped into a bowl, and lightly brûléed on top. I wanted to devour that entire bowl. But instead…

…we opted for eight different desserts (you can select as many as you want off the trolley). Strawberries and freshly whipped cream. 

Baba au rhum with that custard/cream mix and a slice of fruit clafoutis.

Chocolate mousse served with brioche (what a super combination), and a cherry tart. 

Roasted pineapples and one of my all time favorites, ile de flottante. 

Then it’s time for tisanes and a nap ^_^

Tisane Trolleys in Monaco

Yesterday we checked out the afternoon tea trolley from Hôtel Metropole. And today we have…

…tisane trolleys!

These arrive at the end of every grand meal in Monaco, bright and lively with pots of fresh herbs. Sage! Mint! Thyme! Peppermint! Verbena! You can pick any herb you desire, do a blend of different herbs…

…or have the server put together a brilliant combination. He’ll ask, how do you feel? Then you can say, super stuffed or very content or I’m about to fall asleep (aka food coma). Depending on your answer he’ll customize a tisane. 

On one occasion I had rosemary-thyme and on another it was lemon-verbena with mint and a kiss of sage. 

The trick to making fresh tisanes potent/bold…

…is not just to steep herbs in hot water but to muddle it. You really want to get in there, and extract all you can from the herbs. Then strain and serve. 

Preferably from a gold kettle ;) 

Monaco | Afternoon Tea | Hôtel Metropole

Have you met the afternoon tea trolley at Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo?

The trolley gets rolled into the lobby lounge each afternoon…so decadent and very tempting. 

No point in resisting! A cup of darjeeling and anything your heart desires…

…like a half-dozen macarons…

…followed slices of a dark chocolate loaf and warm chausson aux pommes.

There are financiers, praline truffles, and citrus guimaves…

…don’t forget to save room for the most buttery palmiers in town  ^_^

Monaco | Hôtel de Paris | Le Grill by Alain Ducasse

Let’s go to Monaco today! We’ll have lunch at Le Grill inside Hôtel de Paris

…and start with fried squash blossoms, crab, and zucchini. 

Warm plush rolls…

…and butter, plain and salted.

And then! Seared foie gras over green and white asparagus…

…and a Ducasse signature, the hen egg with white asparagus and Maltese oranges.

Le Grill is on the top floor of the hotel so ceiling opens straight into the sky. The couple next to us ordered roast chicken. It was presented in a grand presentation, still smoking, skin crackling. And to “clear our the air” the entire ceiling opened up for a minute and closed back again. What a sight. 

And then it was time for my John Dory with broad beans and baby squid.

Allen had the beef with haricot verts…

…and sauce choron (which is like béarnaise but with tomatoes). 

At Le Grill you must always remember to SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT. 

Soufflés are the claim to fame and for good reason. They come in five flavors: Grand Marnier, Chocolate, Strawberry, Raspberry, Peppermint, Vanilla, and Pistachio. Grand Marnier is my go-to flavor for soufflés, and here it comes rising high above the ramekin!

The waiter opens the top just a bit…

…to pour in the Grand Marnier. And what a generous pour heehee.

Allen had the pistachio one which was also pretty good. 

And because there is room for more, petit fours! Chocolate-caramel cakes were my favorite. Best enjoyed with…

…and pot of mint tisane…

…for two ^_^

Devouring Monaco | Gotham Magazine

[Bread trolley at Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse, Hotel de Paris]

I have a few more Paris posts coming before we move onto Champagne and Monaco…

[Grand Marnier soufflé, Le Grill at Hotel de Paris]

…but in the meantime, wanted to share this piece I just did for Gotham Magazine.

[Fraises des bois, Marché de la Condamine]

Devouring Monaco! 

[Joël Robuchon, Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo]

Most people travel there for the glitz and glamour, but it was the food (and the tea trolleys!) that really drove me there. 

[Tea and Tisane trolleys at Joël Robuchon and Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse]

Click here for the post…and huge thank you to my amazing editor April for making this look beautiful ^_^