Restaurant Le Dalí offers luxury with a twist.
Inside Le Meurice in Paris, the white-tablecloth establishment named for Salvador Dalí serves up locally sourced French cuisine in a stunning setting adjacent to Alain Ducasse’s Restaurant le Meurice.
To eat at Le Dalí is not to sit for a meal. To dine at Le Dalí is to have an experience.
The restaurant’s composition, which includes touches honoring Dalí, is creative in nature and somewhat mind-bending.
The ceiling, which almost appeared to billow from the ceiling, was crafted by Ara Starck, daughter of Philippe Starck—who led the design of the space. Ara Starck also created the space’s carpet, which is a reflective play on its counterpart, the ceiling—both are meant to distort reality. As Le Meurice’s team describes it in press materials, “The ceiling soars and the ground sinks into the winding ways of a crypt, like the convolutions of the brain.”
Philippe Starck’s concept also includes “carefully scattered hints” to connect Le Dalí aesthetically to Le Meurice’s other spaces. Altogether, it’s unique and filled with other innovative design touches from print-covered seating, floral arrangements, and floor-to-ceiling glass paneling akin to windows inside the space alongside embellished columns along the dining room’s walls.
The food is on par with the restaurant’s decor—and perhaps even exceeds it.
Chef Amaury Bouhours tells Hotels Above Par that Le Dalí’s cuisine is modern, fresh, and seasonally appropriate. “The restaurant is a convivial and relaxed place, so we want to translate this atmosphere into our dishes with an easy and short menu,” Bouhours said. “Every dish is accomplished with excellence and rigor.”
In September, when we visited, Bouhours’ assessment rang true.
We started with a glass of Veuve Clicquot—which felt just as luxe as the space in which we were sitting. Before we truly dove into the meal, we were served bread—including a gluten-free option—with butter from Normandy and an amuse-bouche that tickled the senses before we made our way to heavier courses.
We started with Salade de grosses crevettes au sautoir & avocat, sauce cocktail which was made with seared large prawns, avocado, lettuce, and cocktail sauce—and was divine in its simplicity. Then we moved on to Filet de bœuf de la Ferme des Belles Robes, tagliatelles de pommes de terre, sauce poivre, made with a tenderloin of beef, potatoes and a peppered sauce—it was one of the most tender pieces of meat we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, and so flavorful—each sumptuous bite felt like an indulgence. We also tried a risotto which was worth savoring.
But perhaps what took the cake—no pun intended—was the dessert.
We had the “Fig” during our September visit. On Le Dalí’s menu, you might notice that the dessert list includes mostly the names of fruit. But you shouldn’t expect a bite ripe from a vine or tree. Instead, one of famed French pastry Chef Cédric Grolet’s delicacies will arrive—stunning in appearance and taste—the perfect cap to a delightful evening.
Le Dalí offers everything one might desire for a special dinner or lunch—perhaps for an engagement, anniversary, or birthday—or even a more casual occasion that one might want to elevate. We’re planning to return when we visit Paris—perhaps to sit for an afternoon tea, perfect to close a lovely day of shopping or museum hopping.
Location: Paris, France
Price Point: $$$$
Takes Reservations: Yes (SevenRooms)
The vibe: Elegant and interesting French dining with touches in tribute to Salvador Dalí within Le Meurice.
Our favorite thing on the menu: Dessert. Make sure not to miss a chance to experience a delight crafted by famed French pastry chef Cédric Grolet. Unique and delicious.
The attire based on the vibe: Casual chic yet upscale
Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Lunch, 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Tea, Monday to Saturday, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Dinner, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.