If there is one thing I learned from my short trip to Paris was that if you can talk about wine and food with any Frenchman, you will end up talking all day and night. It is not just the complexity that French cuisine offers but also the pure love for all things delicious. Add a bit of luxury and opulence to that and what you get is pure magic – a treat for your eyes and soul. That’s why Le Cinq ranks as a winner.
Few weeks back I was in Paris when I decided to dine at Le Cinq at the Four Seasons George V Hotel which has won three Michelin stars in 2016, 2017 & 2018. To be honest I was bit intimidated to try the 9 course menu. I feared that my tiny appetite could not do justice to even 4 courses let alone 9. Plus I was more interested in trying the wines from the massive cellar that boasts of some 50,000 bottles of wines.
Stepping into Four Seasons George V hotel is like stepping into a luxury private château – chandeliers, lofty ceilings, beautiful tapestry, silken couches and massive ornate carpets. Dining at Le Cinq is like dining at au grand couvert where you are the queen (or the king) and the entire court is there to celebrate this meal with you!
We were greeted by champagne trolley with a selection of excellent champagnes (not surprised!) It was hard to take a pick but I chose a glass of 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
PS. All photos were taken on my phone & not a single one needed editing. The food speaks for itself!
The meal began with a trio of canapés. Miniature carrots filled with jelly, thin bread with avocado and a jewel like silver bubble that was filled with Campari & Orange liquid. The bubble pops in your mouth releasing a burst of flavours. I have tasted these bubbles in many restaurants as they have now become a trend and most of them do not have anything special to talk about. This one actually is so clean, refreshing and you can only appreciate the technical skills that would have gone in making these canapés.
Next was the amuse–bouche – Small portion of spring green peas on lemon foam that packed a punch. I was ready for the first course!
First course was the roasted blue lobster served with grapefruit sauce, butter sauce and a roasted lettuce – probably the best charred lettuce I have tasted. Tartness of the grapefruit sauce takes this dish to another level and balances the richness of butter & lobster that otherwise would have made this dish a quite heavy one. I paired this with Domain Ballot-Millot 2015 Meursault. This chardonnay is made from hand harvested fruit. A fine reliable example of Meursault that goes so well with the lobster.
Second course of grilled white asparagus reminded me of a spring wedding dress. It was served with thyme and lemon broth. My obvious choice of wine was the 2015 Vouvray Sec Domaine du Clos Naudin – Classic style of Vouvray with a classic recipe from Philippe Foreau of Domaine du Clos Naudin.
Main course was lamb fillet and harissa flavoured lamb sausage served on a bed of lemon scented semolina. Although I am not usually a fan of lamb, this was a rare occasion when I absolutely loved the spicy lamb sausage. This was a very strong and rich dish. Perhaps pairing it with a red fruity Bordeaux would have been a good idea.
Also ordered on the table was the fillet of red mullet with reduction of tomato juice and olive marmalade. I tasted the fish but my choice of main course would still be the succulent lamb that just ties in so well with this entire menu.
Then we got down to business! Lets talk desserts, shall we? but wait, we still had to try the pre-desserts! The chocolate truffles, panna cotta served on a delicate glass dish (I was more intrigued by the plate than the desserts themselves)
For actual dessert I ordered cheesecake meringue with marinated citrus. Also on the table we had the strawberries with Chantilly cream and white chocolate & liquorice infused granita. This dessert has so many different textures – sweet & juicy strawberries that still have that little tartness, smoothness of the cream and the crispness of the strawberry tuile. Its like spring on your tongue!
Then arrives the dessert trolley but sadly I am too full by this time. Trolley has an impressive selection of petit fours. ‘Next time I’ll catch up with you’ I say in my mind!
The moment you enter the restaurant or even the hotel, you are greeted by smiles and the service is so impeccable. The restaurant ambiance gives you the feeling of dining in a royal château with its french furniture & luxury tableware. Make no mistake, this is a palace hotel. You can see the opulence in every corner. The price for 4 course may seem steep at the time of booking but remember you are paying for the entire experience and not just 4 courses.
Before starting with this post I should have made one thing clear – This was never going to be a restaurant review, at least not the kind that tells you what was good what was not. Because there wasn’t anything in Le Cinq that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone! So lets just call this what it was, an experience so beautiful that every dish, every element is still fresh in my memories and it will stay there till next time…till I visit Le Cinq again.
Four Seasons Hotel George V – https://www.fourseasons.com/paris/dining/restaurants/le_cinq/
Le Cinq Menu & Reservations – http://www.restaurant-lecinq.com/en/
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