Luxury hotels in Paris have stepped up their game by bringing in top chefs who already have established restaurants. Here are three of our favorites.:
Restaurant Le Baudelaire at Le Burgundy Hotel
Last month, the new general manager of the five-star Le Burgundy Hotel, Nicole Wilms invited us to lunch at the hotel's Michelin-star restaurant, Le Baudelaire. Wilms and the head chef at Le Baudelaire, Anthony Denon, both previously worked at the Relais & Châteaux Auberge du Jeu de Paume in Chantilly, France (the former as general manager; the latter receiving one Michelin star at its restaurant).
Denon brings his inventive cuisine to Le Baudelaire, with a contemporary, health-conscious menu. We feasted on a three-course menu of a cozy soup of Paris mushrooms and red wine, topped with crispy chestnuts, followed by the freshest sea scallops accompanied by a white truffle and cauliflower sauce, and, the grand finale, the signature chocolate dessert with ginger and buckwheat.
Restaurant Le Baudelaire offers à la carte and tasting menus at lunch and dinner, and the Vivant, is a special, 100 percent plant-based menu at lunchtime.
Thiou at the Norman Hotel & Spa
The recently opened boutique Norman Hotel & Spa is ideally located on a quiet, side street off the Champs Elysees. The chic, mid-century interiors and design are inspired by Norman Ives, an American artist and graphic designer whose works from the 1950s and 1960s are highly regarded. With only 37 rooms, the hotel exudes restrained luxury in a private club-like setting.
Apiradee Thirakomen Thiou was the chef at her beloved restaurant in the 7th arrondissement for years until it recently closed. Thiou has relocated to the Norman and her loyal fans are happy for her return. Influenced by the legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, Thiou creates an eclectic fusion menu combining French and her native Thai cuisine. We enjoyed some of Thiou’s signature dishes, including crispy, soft-shell crabs served with a salad of green mango and spicy Thai herbs, an aromatic red curry with seasonal vegetables, and her legendary, weeping tiger shrimp sauté. Another specialty is the delicious dessert of sweet spring rolls filled with chocolate syrup.
L’Assagio at Le Castille Hotel
Le Castille Hotel, next door to the flagship Chanel boutique on rue Cambon, is part of the Starhotels group of luxury properties, which is based in Italy. This Italian influence extends to the hotel where the staff speaks Italian, English and French and its restaurant, L’Assagio, serves cuisine from the Piedmont region of Italy.
The intimate dining room, with just 12 tables, has an elegant décor with high-back, upholstered chairs and taupe leather tufted banquettes. In late spring and summer, there’s an outdoor terrace with a Roman-style fountain.
Chef Sasha Arandjelovic, under the supervision of Italian Michelin-starred Chef Ugo Alciati, has created an extravagant menu, and we indulged in sumptuous dishes such as a delicate, tagliolino pasta with 40 egg yolks and topped with slivers of black truffles, and a succulent guinea fowl, served with a piquant Marsala sauce, on a buttery brioche. The tiramisu, which is listed as "Probably the Best tiramisu in Paris," definitely lived up to its description.
Five- and six-course tasting menus are available at dinner in addition to an à la carte menu; at lunch, there’s a condensed menu plus a prix fixe, three-course, business option. L'Assagio was honored to be included in the Michelin 2023 guide.