Ledoyen - dining room
I had a lunch reservation for 2 on a dreary december day at Ledoyen and absolutely hated the experience.
I've been to a few Michelin starred restaurants (including a few 3 star places) however I don't feel qualified enough to rate the quality of the dishes. Maybe It just wasn't really my pallet (foie gras with some exotic fruit sauce on top).
But the biggest disappointment was the room itself. I couldn't help remembering the scene in Ratatouille where the restaurants is going downhill and only one person is seated in the dining room. It really felt deserted and the room actually smelled stale.
Anyone else had a bad experience there?
Was there mid December for lunch. I am a huge fan of Mr. Le Squer's cuisine. I've found some of the other 3 star restaurants in Paris to be more style than substance whereas at Ledoyen the flavor is the top priority.
The best word for the room is, as Deluca put it, tired. The food and service more than make up for it, though, and it's my top recommendation in Paris. Value is excellent and the view is normally gorgeous but they were running the Christmas market so the gardens were a little obscured by tents that time of year.
If you don't mind me asking (the OP) since you were there around the same time I was, what did you have? The macaroni and seafood was mind blowing and the pork, although simple, was perfectly prepared.
re: piano boy
I was there in early December for lunch, booked the same day of the meal and there were about 2 or 3 empty tables.
What surprises me is that you (not you personaly :P ) find the room dated etc. I found the whole setting as for the view location and decoration perfect. It is not modern but it is not meant to be. The service was also as good as it gets.
Piano boy, my friend had the pork (eel as as starter) and had medium impressions from it. I was about to try the seafood macaroni but got the menu decouverte instead with the spaghetti. Do you have any photos of the macaroni with seafood? I would like to see it.
About water, Ledoyen charged us two for 2 bottles of Evian at 8euros each. 16 euros in total. (wine is at 24 to 32 per glass for lunch)
Ducasse at Benoit charged 9 euros per bottle of Evian (although I think bigger bottle than in Ledoyen)
Gagnaire charged also 9 euros per bottle.
The decorations were beautiful and I do love the overall ambiance of the room but I noticed paint peeling in places and some of the furnishings were getting a little threadbare. Doesn't need a renovation just a few touch up.
The eel/beet is one of my favs. Sublime combination and being big on texture I thought it was exquisite. Don't have a picture of the macaroni but it was like the spaghetti where there was a round tower of noodles and then 4 pieces of seafood around it (turbo, scallop, langoustine and ?) When you cut into the pasta a seafood sauce poured out filling the bowl.
I agree that the markup on drinks was high, about 300% on out bottle of wine, but every time I try to do the math on how much the ingredients and labour cost I think it's completely fair. It's still the best value of any of the 3 stars in Paris especially if you're a light drinker.
re: piano boy
Just a few months ago that the lunch menu was 88 it was a bargain for the reasons mentioned. Now at 128 for lunch it is average. The decouverte menu is cheaper than Gagnaire Ducasse Passard etc. A la carte it is up there with L Ambroisie and all others.
About the wine I found glasses at 12 or 15 euros at Gagnaire. while at Ramsay's in London (different story) there were half bottles at the price of the glass at Ledoyen. I didnt look at the wine book at all though.
One think for sure, I will always remember the time I ate at Ledoyen.