Le Relais Plaza Paris Reviews; Paris, France
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Le Relais Plaza Paris

25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008, France
Le Relais Plaza Paris Review
5 Star Rating
2 November 2012Le Relais Plaza Paris
Tags: Paris, France, Fine Dining reviewsThe Bill: £176 per head

The Le Relais Plaza restaurant is embedded in one of the prettiest hotels in Paris, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. This is elegance par excellence, and a treat for all the senses.

With decor directly inspired by the ocean liner, Le Normandie, Le Relais Plaza is Art Déco done very well indeed. The elegant surroundings lend themselves nicely to a refined, but relaxed, dining experience that combines great service with brilliant food.

The listed brasserie restaurant is one of the few remaining original Art Déco dining rooms left in Paris. It was opened in 1936 and has apparently changed little, with Lalique pieces all round, and a lovely curved bar. The ceiling is very high, offering lots of light and a nice airy ambience.

We were greeted by a smiling waiter and quickly shown to a table in the centre of the room. We couldn’t help but stare at the opulent dining room, marking us as tourists, but we didn’t care. Our fellow diners looked a mixture of business-types and glitterati. We didn’t see anyone famous, but there are apparently lots of recognisable guests of an evening.

The menu was typically French, the prices were what you would expect from a Paris gastronomic restaurant, but nothing outrageous.

The Le Relais Plaza is a sumptuous dining spot in Paris that really delivers on its promises.

We had chair de crabe and terrine d’oie for starter. Chair de crabe is crab meat, in this case king crab with mayonnaise and baby spinach leaves. The terrine d’oie was a goose terrine with black chanterelle mushrooms, lettuce and little bits of toasted bread. Both were sumptuous. The mayonnaise was light, creamy and had a subtle flavour that complemented the crab perfectly. The goose terrine was full of flavour and a delight to eat.

Our main course was gambes roties and faux filet boeuf, with a side of sautéed spinach. The gambas was a wild king prawn curry with coconut sauce, pilar rice and flat bread. The faux filet boeuf was an Angus sirloin steak with béarnaise sauce, French fries and pepper. The curry continued the fish theme from the starter, and the quality too.

The curry sauce was light, spicy and sweet all at the same time. Coconut can be a little overbearing at times, but this was cooked to perfection. I literally didn’t want it to end. The flatbread was a nice accompaniment.

The steak was also cooked to perfection. It was a beautiful piece of meat that fell apart when cut. It was juicy, tender and provoked a satisfied smile when chewing. The French fries were light, and not at all greasy. The side of spinach added an earthy tone to the course that was most welcome.

Dessert was L’oreade and chocolat. The L’oreade is proudly advertised as being a prize-winning dessert, and I must admit, I would have given it first place anywhere. It’s a long slice of raspberries and chocolate with an extravagant sugar loop as decoration. The chocolat was actually a chocolate and caramel praline. The chocolate was heavenly, just this side of sweet, and the praline had a nice hint of hazelnut that worked really well.

We had a rose wine, as is our habit. This time it was an excellent St Marguer 2009. It was light and fruity on the nose, with no subtlety whatsoever. However that just adds to the experience, not detracts from it. On the palate, it’s fruity with a redcurrant overtone that begged to be repeated.

The Le Relais Plaza is a sumptuous dining spot in Paris that really delivers on its promises. It’s elegant and beautiful without ramming it down your throat. Service is excellent, and the food is exquisite. We would have no qualms about going there again next time we were in Paris.

Photos courtesy of Le Relais Plaza Paris
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