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L'Abeille Restaurant Review: PHILIPPE LABBE, THE OPENING CHEF OF THE RESTAURANT, HAS LEFT. A review of the restaurant L’Abeille calls for a little historical perspective. It is named after Napoléon Bonaparte’s insignia, the “bee,” as the building was erected by his grand nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. Construction of the very elegant and stylish mansion, which started in 1892, took four years to complete. So as you enter and walk down to L’Abeille, breathe in the history floating in the air, and admire l’Escalier d’Honneur (the Staircase of Honour). Decorated by Pierre-Yves Rochon in silver, grey and taupe colors, the restaurant is intimate with only forty seats and opens onto a private garden that sets the tone of the Shangri-La hotels; note that a garden of this size in one of the most expensive parts of Paris is pure luxury. Former chef Philippe Labbé had the difficult task to create a menu that would encompass French and Asian cuisines, tradition and modernity, and also bring something new to the Parisian culinary scene. And he succeeded, though he has now departed the restaurant. Dishes are named quite evocatively, so read their descriptions to see their compositions. Start with the lucky warm marinated sardines with sour anchovies, the crab salad, or the poached lobster served with a gooseberry wine sauce. We invite you to discover the appetizer of tomato in three servings. In homage of the Eiffel Tower located nearby the hotel, one of the foie gras dishes has a small Grande Dame, crafted from melon, on the plate. Fishes come in the form of loup de mer served with fennel confit and a juice infused with wild anise, while sole is poached in lemon verbena, and accompanied by small clams “à la rhubarbe” and delicate potatoes seasoned by vanilla verbena oil. “Le cochon” is served in two separate phases: the chest Cantonese style with crab, and the chop with caramel soy sauce and shiso spaghetti. Lamb gets an Asian twist from the shaved coconut, curry, grilled peanuts and lime juice. Order the cheese not only for the beautiful selection, but for its presentation on a gorgeous cart. Creativity is also instilled in the desserts: you most likely have never encountered a fraises des bois millefeuille with avocado mousse and coriander sorbet, or raspberries atop a waffle with celery cream and sorbet. This culinary treatment comes at a price, but it is impeccable, as is the service.