THIS RESTAURANT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED Les Ambassadeurs
THIS RESTAURANT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant Review: THIS RESTAURANT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR RENOVATION UNTIL 2015 This is probably the most gorgeous dining room of Paris. Formerly the grand ballroom of the Hôtel de Crillon, it has retained the opulence of the time it was built by Duke d’Aumont in 1775 with its 25-foot decorated ceiling, Baccarat crystal chandeliers and marble in seven different colors framing the oversized mirrors. Tall windows reveal the unique spectacle of the Place de la Concorde. A touch of a new look is added with contemporary fabric and colors; lighter tones for the curtains, chairs and tables enhance the light streaming in from the Concorde. Seating in Les Ambassadeurs is already a treat. The young chef Christopher Hache could not have dreamed of a more majestic stage on which to execute his own culinary vision. Born in the kitchen, he has followed from a young age his chef-father’s steps, continued his education in culinary colleges (Lycée Escoffier), and apprenticed with the best toques of Paris, working under Alain Senderens, Eric Fréchon (Le Bristol) and Régis Marcon. Symbolizing the rejuvenation in progress of the venerable Crillon, young Christopher (he is 30) handles these prestigious assets with simplicity and modesty. He has chosen to do a light and modern cuisine without ostentation and hazardous adventures, artistically presented, including some vegetarian dishes and using unexpected ingredients such as nettles in the homemade tortellini. Products such as squab, “poularde,” lamb and fish bear the stamp of the best origins. We can trust his pot-roasted foie gras with wild mushrooms and his Sologne caviar in a cucumber jelly. But let’s be somewhat audacious with a more roguish preparation like the breaded pig foot, gentrified of course --- noblesse oblige --- with slices of black truffles covering crispy Jerusalem artichokes, or in a bare style a filet of small mackerel preserved in olive oil with beets. The “Poularde des Landes” (fattened chicken), which melts in the mouth, comes with “Riseto.” That’s a wink, however, because “Riseto” is not rice but thinly minced pasta with black truffles. A Roquefort emulsion adds a hint of originality to the filet of brill accompanied by caramelized chicory. Some of the desserts look like “objets d’art,” and it would almost be enough to eat them with the eyes. At lunch there’s a prix-fixe at €68 with three dishes to be chosen between six preparations, like marinated foie gras in sangría, pork cheek pastilla, and soft hazelnut biscuit with Jivara chocolate mousse and passion fruit sorbet. A dégustation menu of six courses is offered for €150. Whatever your choice, the service will flow evenly. The cellar overseen by chief sommelier David Biraud is lined with gold and prices are reflective.