Salvador Dali, the famed painter and artist, is the longest running guest at the illustrious Le Meurice Hotel in its 200 plus year history. The incredible palace hotel, set on Rue de Rivoli in Paris, is an ideal setting blending the old with the re-imagined “new” by talented celebrity designer, Philippe Starck. Tucked inside, just away from the stunning lobby, is Le Dali. The restaurant is headed by one of the most well known chefs on the planet – Alain Ducasse. From the moment you enter, surrounded by original murals dating back to the 1800s, tile work and select, modern-day furnishings chosen carefully to blend with rare antiquities, you know you’re somewhere special.
Seated around you are guests of the hotel as well as Paris’ fashion leaders, business people and well-to-do, all enjoying conversation and culinary delights that seem to flow from the kitchen as easily as water from a spring. I spent an afternoon in the restaurant over lunch. Throughout the two-hour affair, I enjoyed lobster bisque, fresh scallops with truffles, macarons and a coconut-lime eclair. And, through it all, I sipped a 2007 sauvignon blanc. Wow.
My table was attended to by no less than four members of the wait staff, all eagerly assisting each other in making sure my meal was perfect. The food was rich, flavorful yet light enough to enjoy course after course. My favorite part, though, was when my waitress brought out a dessert selection from pastry chef Cédric Grolet that included an orange made with liquid chocolate and cacao butter, filled with blood orange mousse and candied citrus fruits. It was pure heaven. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely afternoon over excellent food, or a special occasion dinner, this is a place that should be on every visitor’s list when planning their culinary itinerary in Paris.