Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Les Ambassadeurs


cabrales
 Share

Recommended Posts

All in all, I would have found the experience annoying if I had had to pay for it (I did not this time). The quality is there, no doubt about it, though the truffles we had smelled good but tasted of nothing. Food was very precious, very virtuoso, like this blanc manger de truffe -- the yok is suspended in whipped white with chives and truffle, the whole thing is cooked in a cylinder. The result is lighter than air, very very impressive. There's a rosace of truffle on top added after cooking of course and a dark truffle sauce served in the plate. It's a good support for the truffle, but as I said the truffle itself is no good, and the thing lack salt and, most importantly, any kind of crisp. It also lacks some acidity that would give it a kick.

The best dish of the night was the sweetbread "brun et blanc", so roasted and braised. There's a parallelepiped of brown ris de veau, on top of it three balls of white ris de veau, serving as pillars for a rectangle of toasted bread (obviously the same size as the parallelepiped), and on top of that some sort of little moutains of I don't know what and tiny discs of truffle. Of course a veal juice is poured on that plate and the whole thing offer a nice mix of the two aspects of sweetbread -- cream-like melty, and offal-like.

A casse-croute de homard is also quite good, first quality lobster perfectly looked, served in a cylinder of bread or some sort of dough. Spinach inside too, a creamy lobster sauce. It came with an absolutely remarkable lobster bisque on the side.

The amuses were amusing, I think I forgot most of them. Cheeses were Anthony's but second rate. There was a non-interesting double starter of truffle salad -- one potato salad on the right, an herb salad on the left. Dessert were painfully classic, and you don't get my sympathy serving fraise des bois in January.

Portions are very appropriate for people on diet. Prices very appropriate for millionaires, though wines are reasonable priced, all things considered.

The room is just the most georgeous I ever went to. It is also very comfortable. Service is very friendly but not always there when you need them -- this is not the kind of place where you would expect to have to look for someone if you want salt or more wine. Or to be politely kicked out of the room for coffe, so they can clean it. But this is a very, very, classy place.

All in all, a great place for a fancy dinner. But for a good dinner, head to les Elysées.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All in all, I would have found the experience annoying if I had had to pay for it (I did not this time). The quality is there, no doubt about it, though the truffles we had smelled good but tasted of nothing. Food was very precious, very virtuoso, like this blanc manger de truffe -- the yok is suspended in whipped white with chives and truffle, the whole thing is cooked in a cylinder. The result is lighter than air, very very impressive. There's a rosace of truffle on top added after cooking of course and a dark truffle sauce served in the plate. It's a good support for the truffle, but as I said the truffle itself is no good, and the thing lack salt and, most importantly, any kind of crisp. It also lacks some acidity that would give it a kick.

Piege making the blanc manger de truffe is on the Crillon website

www.crillon.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I further voiced my diasapproval of les Ambassadeurs in a new post: http://www.julotlespinceaux.com/2008/03/le...rd-working.html

The place, as I see it, is characterised by its lack of actual seriousness. Not that they don't work hard or don't demonstrate amazong skills. Obviously they do. But they don't take the fine dining, the "grand restaurant" seriously. Ingredients have grand names and bland tastes, recipes are pretty but without pleasur or emotion.

In a word, the opposite of everything I value in a restaurant -- a pleasurable moment, an experience in civilisation, the expression of a sensitivity, something that makes life richer and people closer...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting review, Julot. On my vacation last May, I went to Les Ambassadeurs on my last night in Paris. I had initially chalked up my somewhat so-so impression of Les Ambassadeurs to the fact that 1) it came at the tail end of many other starred restaurants and I had reached my saturation point for such dining and 2) I was just not in the best mood since my vacation was over.

But having reflected on it since then, I think that part of the fault did lie with the restaurant. There were just too many things about it that made me think, “this is just too over-the-top,” – the sorts of things you highlighted in your review: the menu holder, the TV dinner, the plants being wheeled around like a cheese course.

And I don’t think any of those things, alone or together, would necessarily be a fatal flaw to a haute cuisine restaurant. I think you could have those bits of whimsy or irony or whatever they’re going for, and still provide a memorable and rich dining experience. But whatever it was you would need (soul?) to make that happen was just not there for me. Partly, I thought the service didn’t match up with the thoughts – when I was there, the TV dinner was presented with seriousness, without any nod to the whimsy that should have been present. (Maybe they've been doing it too long, and also need to change things up?) Partly, I agree with you that all the food was indeed technically proficient, but still somehow lacking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Julien, Holly,

Thanks for your comments; it's going back a while now, but my lunch at Les Ambassadeurs in late December was an absolute treat. The produce was simply excellent, especially the bar de ligne. I did not taste any of the dishes that Julien commented upon, and did not have truffles prominently featuring in our dishes. However, I note with interest that your criticism of his food do not centre around any subjective views on his cooking style, but on the quality of produce, the very factor I thought was an absolute standout during my meal. If nothing else, it may suggest that Les Ambassadeurs may not be very consistent.

Service was a bit stuttery at the start, but settled down nicely, incorporating even a little sense of humour and delight in proceedings. I found the completely Francophone waiters more stiff and humourless (matter of body language, rather than my elementary French) than the English-speaking ones, and I fully understand how it may have seemed ill-suited to the intended irony of the dishes etc.

And the lunch menu price has jumped again to 88E; getting steep now compared to some others but still great value in my view.

Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Seems like quite a while since some one has posted about Piege's cuisine.

My meal here a good year ago was terrific. The dishes were great, the products outstanding and the experience memorable. This time, things got worse, or at least hadn't changed in the least.

The number of little mistakes was just too big, as was the absence of any progress of the kitchen.

Such stagnating chefs are the most sad thing to see (especially if one of them is one of your favourite chefs).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry,

here is a google translation:

Google translation

The gist, as I read it, is that he will announce his departure tomorrow (i.e. yesterday) and offers nothing concrete about his future plans.

I believe there is some suggestion of a swap between him and J-F Rouquette who is the chef at Pur' at Hyatt Vendome...but it remains gossip.

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good reviews and pictures Felix (What camera do you use by the way?)

Probably it's for the good of both parties that Piege quits Crillon

Les Ambassadeurs at this stage is very unlikely to get the 3rd star

Ducasse could (easily) take Piege under his wing (again) and created the 3rd 3-star place

Just a side note - I hope Le Meurice, when Alleno is leaving, will not take Piege

Unless Piege's willing to make a significant change from his current or Ducassian's style

Otherwise, it will bring down Meurice ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With Piège leaving the Crillon from failing to get the third star, which is precisely why he was hired in the first place, Le Meurice is not likely to hire him.

Agree it would not be a step-up, IMO, for Le Meurice to take on Piège.

But everyone sounds as if they believe Alleno is certain to leave. I thought it is just gossip at the moment?

(regarding this rumour, personally, I find it hard to believe he would quit Le Meurice...from what I have read, he seems a very proud Parisian and has pretty much built up the restaurant since his arrival [remodelled kitchen, designed the plates and even serving trays himself, etc...])

Edited by Food Snob (log)

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who says Alleno's going? Who believes it? I met him a couple months ago and something was up.....but who knows?

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Apparently, the Crillon is not interested in replacing him immediately. The staff is still off with no job. And there seems to be a little legal complication, or so I hear.

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...