A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

Published on 

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

French chefs can be found on just about every continent fusing local culture and expertise with French culinary tradition. Take a world tour of these fine dining restaurants.

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

A French chateau in the Land of the Rising Sun

The spirit of Joël Robuchon, who passed away in 2018, is still very much present at Le Château, his Tokyo restaurant. Imagine a real French chateau straight from Normandy, in the heart of the Ebisu district tucked between modern skyscrapers, and you have Le Château. It was painstakingly taken apart, transported to Japan, and then put back together stone by stone. After months of work by the best French artisans, the chateau now sits majestically in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Climb the staircase to the first floor, where you will find the fine dining restaurant Robuchon created, a refined and elegant space where French cuisine is celebrated. The superb dining room is a contrast of beige and champagne set against the deep black of the tablecloths. Mirrors and crystal add a transcendent sparkle to the décor. The atmosphere is wonderfully intimate, and the staff just as efficient as they are discreet. Let the three-star experience begin.

(Re-)discover the great classics that earned the chef international acclaim: cauliflower cream soup with caviar, his famous luxuriously buttered mashed potatoes, langoustine ravioli, macaroni and cheese with truffles and foie gras… Expect an explosion of astonishingly delicate flavours, subtle fragrances and unexpected yet perfectly balanced texture combinations. The team, led by Michael Michaelidis, also pays homage to Japanese gastronomy and the country's extraordinary products. One excellent option is the tile fish en croute served in a yuzu broth. The wine selection is just as good as the food, and the pairings are selected from an exceptional cellar where grands crus from Bordeaux sit alongside those from Bourgogne and champagnes from the most prestigious domains of Reims' region.

Le Château
Yebisu Garden Place
1-13-1 Mita, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 153-0062
Japan
+81 03 524-1347
www.joel-robuchon.com/en/restaurants-tokyo-joelrobuchon.php

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

The best of Brazil meets French cuisine

The Brazilian adventure all began more than 30 years ago with the arrival of Claude Troisgros, son of Pierre and brother of Michel who remained in France. He left to travel across Latin America, exploring vast territories and exploring new products. He opened a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, which he called Olympe, in homage to his mother, one of the emblematic feminine figures of the family.

It started along a quiet street, not far from Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. There, the chef created an intimate universe in which the private and corporate customers could feel at ease. He began to cook fruits, vegetables, fish and other local products: jiló (a type of aubergine), passionfruit, açai berries and cassava in a rainbow of colours and exotic flavours. French gastronomy could assert itself in a new environment. The restaurant menu was taking shape, with a strong culinary identity that would become Claude Troisgros's signature.

Since then, a new generation of talent has picked up the torch, with Claude's son Thomas joining the family business to keep the beautiful story of Olympe alive. The restaurant has obtained national and world fame, earning a Michelin star 2015 and becoming one of the 50 best French restaurants in Latin America. In 2016, it was recognised by the English magazine World of Fine Wine, which gave it three stars. The langoustine are paired with apple, foie gras with heart of palm, scallops are served with a yellow tucupi (manioc) sauce, and laminated octopus with a coffee vinaigrette and pickled okra. For dessert, if this is your first time here, try the caramelised passionfruit pancake soufflé, a house special at Olympe since 1982.

Olympe
Custódio Serrão 62
Lagoa
Rio de Janeiro RJ, 22470-230
Brazil
+55 21 2537-8582
olympe.com.br/en/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

Bringing the sea to New York in a big way

“Let's take on Manhattan!” And so Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze set off in 1986 to open a seafood restaurant on the other side of the pond. With two Michelin stars to their name at Le Bernardin, their Parisian restaurant founded in 1972, the brother and sister packed their bags to seduce New York and open a second Le Bernardin in the Big Apple.

They developed a menu of perfectly prepared fish and shellfish of exceptional quality. Success was quick, but the family story took a tragic turn with the death of Gilbert. Maguy decided to forge ahead with her American adventure with chef Éric Ripert, who she had known for years. Since 1994, the American Le Bernardin has risen to fame by proudly showcasing all that French gastronomy has to offer. It has received a constant stream of international awards for its high-flying three-star cuisine.

True to its roots, Le Bernardin is an ode to seafood. The menu takes diners on a journey through the world's many oceans: from pan roasted monkfish to seared bass and tuna, poached halibut, yellowtail, Faroe Islands salmon, Hawaiian walu and more. You will be spoilt for choice with all of these surprising options. Described on the menu as “almost raw”, “barely touched” and “lightly cooked”, the always-exceptional products are prepared so as to allow their full flavours and aromas to truly shine through.

Non-meat eaters have not been forgotten, and a vegetarian tasting menu serves up Himalayan morels, a spring pea and broad bean casserole, and artichoke panaché with a vegetable risotto. The nautical-inspired décor will have you dreaming of the high seas in the midst of midtown. Settle in between the softly undulating aluminium walls, huge photos of waves or quaint scenes of fishermen with a teak ceiling above just like on a traditional boat.

Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St
New York
NY 10019
United States
+1 212-554-1515
www.le-bernardin.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

High-end bistro cuisine in Edinburgh

When Michel Roux moved to Britain, he first chose London as his new home. With three Michelin stars under his belt since 1985 for his Waterside Inn restaurant, the chef was highly respected and well-loved on the other side of the Channel. His son Alain joined him in 1994 and took over the helm of the legendary establishment.

In 2018, their shared passion led the talented father and son duo to undertake a new culinary venture. The two men landed at The Balmoral, the famous Edinburgh hotel. They opened a one-of-a-kind brasserie with a “menu rooted in French bistro dishes, in the classic modern style, irresistibly simple, delicious food” made using what Alain Roux describes as the finest Scottish products of exceptional variety and flavour.

You will immediately feel the typical warm and inviting ambiance of a French bistro, with white curtains on the windows to hide the hustle and bustle of the street, the dignified bar and barstools, leather-covered chairs with a slight sheen, and soft lighting. Your only desire will be to delve into the seasonal menu and start ordering! Choose a seafood platter or the Scottish beef… Unless you would rather share something with the table?

Brasserie Prince
The Balmoral
1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Scotland
+44 0131 557 5000
www.roccofortehotels.com/en/hotels-and-resorts/the-balmoral-hotel/restaurants-and-bars/brasserie-prince/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Tour de France in fine dining… outside France

Mediterranean cuisine between skyscrapers in Dubai

After London, Miami and Hong Kong, La Petite Maison has brought Mediterranean and Niçoise cuisine to Dubai. Right in the middle of the city's financial district, the French restaurant gives diners a radiant gastronomic escape. The à la carte menu is sunny and flavourful thanks to the array of sun-soaked ingredients.

A veritable festival of colours is enhanced with a drizzle of olive oil and the chef's marinades, with options to suit every palate. Vegetarians can enjoy the black Niçoise olive tapenade, grilled aubergine, marinated sweet peppers, lemon and citrus marinades and dressings and more. And then, there are the fish. From croquettes to grilled and baked preparations, sea bass and sea bream will remind you of the fish market along the old ports of Nice and Marseille. For those who are of a more carnivorous persuasion, choose from rib eye, sirloin, lamb cutlets and lemon-marinated roast baby chicken.

When it is time for dessert, the fruity or chocolate classics are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. A fine selection of French champagne and wine round will out your meal. The luminous La Petite Maison is elegantly decorated with Belle Époque-style and light colours. No detail has been overlooked, not even the imposing bistro-inspired bar. Your experience will be as enjoyable, light-hearted and friendly as the food you are served.

La Petite Maison
Gate Village No, 8
Dubai International Financial Center
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 4 439 0505
lpmlondon.co.uk/dubai/