Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenee | parisbymouth.com

NOW CLOSED: Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée

The Plaza Athénée was once the flagship restaurant of chef Alain Ducasse. It held three Michelin stars and featured for a brief moment on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After a massive redesign and reopening in 2014, the restaurant reoriented its cuisine around fish, cereals and vegetables. The quinoa didn’t come cheap here: lunch for 2 people was more than 1000€.

Among all the three-star Paris restaurants I tested that year (and I tested all of them), this was my very least favorite. Ducasse left the Plaza Athénée in 2021 and passed the reins to Jean Imbert, who won Top Chef France (more details at Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée).

OUR PHOTOS OF LE PLAZA ATHÉNÉE


IN OTHER WORDS

Patricia Wells (2014) “Ducasse pledges a new definition of luxurious, attempting to turn every element into a radical, minimal, experience.  Again, an idea to be applauded, if it works. At this point, to this diner and critic, it does not… During the same week, dining in various Paris establishments, I had better, brighter, less-tortured vegetables, sampled in modest bistros, newcomer star restaurants, and competing grand tables.”

David Lebovitz (2014) “I went with the Légumes des jardins du château de Versailles, a lovely piled of just-picked vegetables from Alain Baraton… Each vegetable with perfectly and precisely cooked; tiny turnips with the little leaves still attached, slender fennel bulbs no larger than my pinky, silky caramelized onions, and tender beet leaves. The vegetables were so good that they didn’t need the slightly rich, contrasting sauce on them.”

Libération (2014) “Lorsqu’un client dîne à une table où la note comportera trois chiffres, à quoi s’attend-il ? Sans doute à un défilé de mets raffinés, mais aussi à faire bombance. Or, pour la réouverture du restaurant du Plaza Athénée à Paris, fermé dix mois pour rénovation, Alain Ducasse a choisi une formule surprenante en proposant un néologisme culinaire : la «naturalité», via un repas composé de graines, de légumes et de poisson. Ce qui, sur le papier, ressemble plus à un menu Weight Watchers qu’à un festin de roi.”

L’Express (2014) “Vu la sincérité méticuleuse et la précision diabolique que son chef exécutif, Romain Meder, déploie dans chacune de ses assiettes, on serait plutôt tenté d’y déceler une nouvelle étape dans l’avantgarde gastronomique: celle d’une frugalité exquise, saine et vertueuse. Le Ducasse du siècle? “

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