Le Meurice ***

When I attended the Flemish food event in early February (sorry this post has been waiting for months) I connected through Paris and had a nice opportunity of lunching at Le Meurice on 9th February 2010.

Appetizer 1

Appetizer 2

Pierre Gagnaire was my first 3-star experience in Paris and I felt I needed to explore the more classical type of cuisine of the highest Michelin standard. Furthermore, I was curious to try one of the most opulent places in Paris.

Luckily, this time Luxeat was able to accompany me and she was fine going for Le Meurice. For a long time we had tried to align our schedules to share a meal.

I was late to the restaurant. Parisian traffic is… well, Parisian traffic, and Luxeat was already at our table waiting for me.

The waiter immediately asked what I would care to drink amongst his offerings and I randomly picked 1996 Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs. A full-bodied and wonderful champagne.

We chose the menu decouverte since the price of two courses is almost at the same level as the tasting menu, and because I wanted to try as much dishes as possible to get the best impression of chef Yannick Alléno’s cuisine.

PRAWNS AND SEA URCHIN CORAL UNCOOKED Steamed turnip in a broth, shiso and delicate jelly with Yuzu

The scrimp, sea-urchin dish was interesting and the more I ate, the more I liked the Asian-inspired flavours dominated by sweet and bitterness.

DUCK FOIE GRAS IODIZED IN SUGAR CRUST Turnip chutney with vinegar and seaweed

Despite the few veins in the foie gras, I really liked this one. The liver-taste and fattiness appealed to me and the sugar and vinegar suited it.


I liked the scallops a lot, but the black truffles had a too light a taste to them, and as a whole the dish wasn’t that interesting to me.

THINLY-SLICED SEABASS WITH CHOPPED PARSLEY Stuffed macaroni, clams prepared simply

Then followed the sea bass. The taste was good and in particular the pasta was great and tasty, as were the small clams. But the sea bass was no way near the incredibly tasty sea bass I got at Oud Sluis.

PRESERVED FLANK OF VEAL IN JUICE Asparagus from France with olives and crunchy onions, parsley

The veal had character and more distinct taste than the previous dishes. The strong flavours of the parsley and olives balanced the richness and fattiness of the veal which was good but somewhat too bland for a 3-star place like Le Meurice. By the way, we had flipped this veal with the lamb course which was originally part of the tasting menu.

MONT D’OR VACHERIN WITH CHÂTEAU-CHALON Warm potato salad with shallots

The cheese was very delicious and full of taste, but the potatoes were a too heavy thing for me after many, quite rich, courses.

Baba au rhum


POACHED ALOE VERA AND CHILLED WITH PINK GRAPEFRUIT Peppered soft fresh cheese and olive oil juice

COCOA MERINGUE SHELL WITH LIGHT CHESTNUT MOUSSE Tender chocolate heart and Cognac jelly

Desserts and pre-dessert were very good too with surprising textures and intriguing flavour combinations.

The highlights for me were the sugar-baked foie gras and the first light and fresh dessert of aloe vera and pink grape fruit. They were both completely balanced in flavours and delighting at the same time.

From a 3-stars point of view, though, I had expected more. Food-wise I wouldn’t characterize Le Meurice worth planning a trip for. To me, it is not on par with neither Fat Duck or Schloss Berg, not to mention Oud Sluis. I felt that the menu was clumsily composed and that the dishes were randomly picked without a clear target.

As I said, the foie gras and the aloe vera were really special but the rest of the meal missed something – it was good but not memorable. It may well have been me having a bad foodie-day, not being at my best in taking in the food, analyzing and appreciating it, as I had a plane to catch at six from CDG airport. But the feeling I was left with was that it should have been better.

I loved the luxuriousness of the room, the very comfortable chair, the sound of the my heals against the floor when I walked, the escort to the loos, the way that my suitcase, jacket and sweater I took off during the lunch were taking care of while I concentrated on the dining experience. It was awesome and only to be found in places like this.

13 Responses to “Le Meurice ***”

  • I don’t recall, sorry.

  • What does Appetizer 1 consist of?

  • S Lloyd, thank you for your contribution once again. I really appreciate it.

    Chris, thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you liked my writing!

    Felix, you’re right that is actually what I experienced. Nothing wrong with it, but it just didn’t invoke any emotions. Sadly.


  • Very interesting, I’ve had more or less the same experience, although on a shorter menu. For me the food just lacked flavour, there was nothing wrong with it, but nothing got me excited really. It seemed like some dishes were simply there, because the ideas were interesting.

  • I am so intrigued…the baba looks amazing, elegant presentation. love the review

  • It’s the duck foie gras iodized in sugar crust that somehow intrigues me the most. I am trying to get an idea of how it can come out tastebud wise. For a once-in-a-while immersion in some star high end French classic fine dining, I think I will still be happy with Le Meurice. Perhaps going with Le Louis XV in Monaco first. All tables I never tried and will probably wont in the short run, being more interested by some other great tables you introduced to us like EL Poblet, Oud Sluis. Thanks to both Lux Eat and you for sharing those mouthwatering pictures and descriptions.

  • @Lars, I’d like to try L’Arpege and Le Cinq but really I think that the bistros are more rewarding in Paris at the moment.Or three stars are more interesting abroad. 😉

    @James, certainly.

    @Gastronaut, I know. And I did seriously consider V, but the recent reports haven’t been very good. :/

    @Luxeat, I’m so pleased to hear you enjoyed it. Yeah, we really seem to have different taste. 🙂

    @Hotel Le Meurice, my pleasure 🙂

  • Thank you very much for yours awesome scans, we truly appreciated your kind comments and we do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again at Le Meurice in a not too distant future 🙂

    Please do not hesitate to visit our Facebook page:

    Best regards.

  • Trine,i really enjoyed reading your review especially that we had the lunch together. I didn’t like at all the foie gras (too greasy and too sweet for me), for example. Once again, a proof that food appreciation is very subjective and it’s a question of taste…

  • “Paris is probably the easiest city in the easiest country to get a Michelin star, two or three. ”

    I think that New York is pretty easy too.. (easier than Paris in some cases!)

  • Told ya….

    Not that I have any experience at Le Meurice, but I have told you on several occasions you have to try Le Cinq when you are in Paris. Now I know they have only 2 stars at this point, and I know there are probably even more modern (as in to your taste) choices and probablay also better meals to be found….but if I had the chance to go to Paris tomorrow, Le Cing would be on my agenda for sure….

    But great review, and I think that you get a good feeling of the room, the lightning, the grandiore of the place.

    Dishes looks great, and your conclusion only re-states my opinion that Paris is probably the easiest city in the easiest country to get a Michelin star, two or three. And not the cheapest place to experiece them lol.

  • May I ask you a question privately?

  • I’m quite surprised Le Meurice didn’t do better. I hope this was a fluke, for 3 stars restaurant in an old palace with such decoration (a shame you didn’t get more of it in the pictures) should have the possibility to really impress.

    Last time I was in Paris I looked for booking at this restaurant, but decided not to try to get a booking, since the 380€ pr person (incl wine) seemed just too steep for my budget.

    After reading about your impressions, I’m happy I didn’t.

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