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Apr 8, 2008 02:40 PM

Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo

Alan Richman wrote an article for GQ a few months ago where he featured his favorite five restaurants in the world. He highlighted Le Louis XV as not just his personal favorite, but "best restaurant in the world" when food, ambience, and service are all considered.

I had the chance to visit recently myself, and was pretty much blown away. I've been to my fair share of hyped restaurants in the US, good and bad, but for me this was a wholly different experience, and I felt very much inclined to agree with Mr. Richman.

I'd love to hear opinions from others, particularly from those who can compare it to a broader experience of other Michelin three stars or Gault Millau almost-20s.


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  1. Surprised there are no reponses. Veyrat is the obvious comparison but I, personally, prefer the three star Le Calandre in Rubano, Italy and the three star El Raco de Can Fabes in San Celoni, Spain. What is important about the latter is that the first night we were there Santimaria wanted to impress a visiting two star chef from San Sebastian and we asked and received the exact same dinner. Returning four nights later it was unavailable. To this day the food we were served (note how I am expressing this) was the best of our lives. Four visits to Le Calandre and, for me, this represents the best currently available in Europe. Yes, I've been to Louis XV. The fourth week of January of this year and it was horribly expensive. No, it was not as good as the two mentioned above-regardless of price.

    To take this to another level Ducasse's restaurant in Paris is Robuchon's original restaurant from the '90's. We were there before he closed. Personally, I believe that Joel Robuchon really is "the chef of the century." Frankly, I do not believe that either Ducasse or Robuchon today are capable of what they once were. They both have too many divergent interests.

    Head for Rubano. But, I should note, all of this is from someone who believes that neither Paris nor Monte Carlo are any longer the epicenter of the universe for what one can consume. I would argue, long into the night, that either San Sebastian or Barcelona hold that honor now.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Joe H

      Joe, I would much appreciate your recommendations for Barcelona where we will be June 25 and 26.

      1. re: trbltd

        Thanks for asking. Sant Pau is a newly crowned three Michelin star about 45 minutes north of the city that is one of the most exciting in Europe right now.
        Comerq 24 is a starred "tapas bar" that is fantastic: L'Espai Sucre is a remarkable dessert only restaurant considered among the best in Spain for what it does. El Raco de Can Fabes is about 45 minutes east of Barcelona in Sant Celoni. Barcelona has a number of truly outstanding restaurants!

      2. re: Joe H

        I think picking one as the "best restaurant" in the world, as Alan Richman did for GQ, garnered much publicity and invite debates. There are many excellent restaurants in Europe but from my experience, there is no European city that can compare to Paris. Of course there are great restaurants scattered about throughout Europe, may it be Le Calandre in Rubano, Can Fabes in Sant Celoni, Marc Veyrat in the Savoie, Rochet in Lausanne, El Bulli in Roses, etc. The list for Paris is phenomenal...L'Ambroisie, Arpege, Gagnaire, Savoy, Le Meurice, Le Bristol just for starters. I've spent quite of bit of time in Barcelona and it is an excellent food city, but the great restaurants, Can Fabes, Can Roca, Hispania, Sant Pau are all outside the city. I really love Can Fabes which has consistently served food at a very high level. From my experience, this isn't always the case with the top restaurants in Spain.
        Ducasse's current Michelin 3 star is located in the Hotel Plaza Athenee. For a time he did occupied Robuchon's former address in the 16e. Robouchon has opened La Table as this address.

        1. re: PBSF

          John Mariani in the May 1999 issue of Esquire called Dal Pescatore the "Best Restaurant in the World."

          I was there about two months afterwards and while I really enjoyed the restaurant, disagreed with him. I also remember leaving the window cracked an inch or two in my rental car and when I returned after three hours or so, found chicken feathers all over the front seat.

          1. re: PBSF

            Ducasse also has three stars in Monaco. Used to have them in NYC as well and just reopened there so we'll se what happens (heading there soon, stay tuned). Ducasse actually opened Le Relais du Parc in Robuchon's former restaurant in av. Raymond Poincaré. La Table is not far away, but in Ghislaine Arabian's former restaurant.

            1. re: PBSF

              Of course "Le Louis XV is the best restaurant in the world" can't be taken literally, no matter who's saying it. I'm mostly just curious to find out if Richman's opinion is an outlier. Do others agree, disagree? It doesn't get the same level of hype (positive or negative) as so many other places in blogs and boards. It may not be especially new or innovative, but it's still an impressive experience.

              1. re: joshlh

                Had lunch on the terrace at Le Louis XV this summer - best part was watching the world of Monte Carlo go by. Food was disappointing. The gambas tasted muddy and the duck which was recommended by our waiter as a specialty of the chef was incredibly overcooked - dry and gray! We should have sent it back, but were too stunned. Funny thing was that we were served duck the next day for lunch at a friend's home and she prepared it perfectly - rosy pink - with a shallot sauce. Go to Louis XV for the show, service, ilttle touches and endless parade of treats at the end of meal. Sadly, this was not even close to our most memorable meals in terms of the food.