From Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly to Princess Diana and Beyoncé, international stars have always loved coming to Paris for stylish shopping and gourmet discovery. Here are several elegant places in Paris where stars find refuge for a cosy dinner, far from the intrusive paparazzi.
After Gwyneth Paltrow at Le Taillevent, let us explore Le Jules Verne, the legendary restaurant run by Chef Alain Ducasse on the 2d floor of the Eiffel Tower. From 007 agent James Bond to celeb lovers such as Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes , everybody has to experience Le Jules Verne once in a lifetime.
Dining at Le Jules Verne on the Eiffel Tower with Ryan Gosling,
a dream that came true for… Eva Mendes only !
Le Jules Verne is the restaurant of all the challenges. Located at 200 meters above the ground , it has the smallest kitchen ever, like trains and yachts kitchens. In fact, the dishes are mainly prepared on the ground, in a big kitchen just at the feet of the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant which owns separate elevators, will then ship the food uptower kitchen for final preparation and service.
Chef Alain Ducasse is the most Michelin starred chef in the world, thanks to his restaurants on the 5 continents. He has been our modern Bocuse and his empire has been incredibly successful and smartly managed. The difference with Bocuse is that he has changed of citizenship …
Invited by the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco to raise the level of gastronomy in Monte Carlo, French born Alain Ducasse has been granted Monaco citizenship, for his decades of service as the top chef of Monaco’s 5 star palace L‘Hotel de Paris . The restaurant’s name is Le Louis XV.
Of course, he had to be the Chef behind the wedding banquet of Prince Albert and Charlene of Monaco.
This Emperor of gastronomy is also at the helm of the gastronomy restaurant at 5 star Parisian palace Le Plaza Athenee, a favourite of movie legends such as the late Elisabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich.
Ducasse is the symbol of a certain idea of modern French cuisine. Design, refinement and elegance. And always a touch of Southern France, a memory from his childhood in the Pyrenees Atlantique department.
Last year, I had the luck to have lunch there with former classmates for our graduation anniversary. We were seven to celebrate. One of my classmates had booked online the Experience 5 Course Menu (190 euros) . It was on a Sunday noon, and the weather was just perfect.
I remember on that very day, Le Tour de France 2014 was arriving in Paris.
Note the beautiful plates, especially chosen by Chef Ducasse to evocate Jules Verne’s novel « 50 thousands miles under the Sea ».
Unlike Roger Moore in 007 movie A View to a Kill, I could peacefully enjoy my meal and the atmosphere in the cosy restaurant. If you remember, in one famous scene of that 007 movie, James Bond had to interrupt his dinner at Le Jules Verne, so as to chase hitwoman Grace Jones in the staircases of the incredible Tower designed by visionnaire engineer Gustave Eiffel.
The whole experience is like a journey in the air… and under the seas at the same time. Ducasse wanted Le Jules Verne to remind us of 20.000 Leagues under the Seas. Maybe have you read the sci fi novel published in 1870 by visionnaire writer Jules Verne or watched the Hollywood film with Kirk Douglas as Captain Nemo.
After taking the restaurant’s private elevator, you enter the restaurant, and discover the incredible views onto Paris and the Tower. The journey continues with the plates that were especially chosen by Ducasse to remind us of corals. And see the strange knife and fork that can be used as chopsticks too ! Very smart indeed.
To be honest, I did not take a picture of the main dish as I did not especially found the chicken supreme ( boneless chicken) that Extraordinary. Its was good but I could not say it was memorable.
However, I have fond memories of the entree and of unforgettable desserts. Especially the desserts which are the most refined I had ever tasted.
The desserts were all awesome , a pity we were too full to finish the macaroons freely supplied with the coffee.
In the little oval bowl on the picture above, there is a unique almond milk ice cream, designed to accompany the red fruits pie with white chocolate crust. Notice the little meringues. It is less the taste that you remember the most, it is the impression of exquisite refinement.
Some of my friends ordered the chocolate cake ( inside the chocolate is still liquid ( but not raw) so you have a double effect) with its gianduja ice cream. The chocolate lollipops, the macaroons and the mini almond sponge cakes ( called financiers in French) are offered by the with the coffee.
I especially appreciated the refinement in every details. It is almost too much, but the result is more than perfect.
My advice would be to go there in daytime, in order to enjoy the views, or maybe in the evening in May-June-July ( when the sun sets after 10.pm), otherwise I am not sure you can see much in the night.
In French gastronomy restaurants, the menus change very often to follow the seasons, so I cannot guarantee you can have the same dishes when you go there.
Last but not least, after your meal, you are invited to join the other tourists through the special exit that leads to the Tower second floor platform. You can take the normal elevators to go down, or walk down the stairs.
NB Last detail : I paid 225 euros , including the wine cost. The Experience 5 course menu is at 190.
- Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes go to the Jules Verne by night
- Alain Ducasse official website
- A blog on James Bond and his movies travel destinations
- To read the previous episode on Le Taillevent
NB: As usual, this content is not sponsored by any of the brands and corporations mentioned.