Dining

The Most Exclusive New Restaurant in Paris Is a Secret-Until Now

Michelin three-starred chef Yannick Alléno teamed up with Moët & Chandon to open an under-the-radar dining room in the City of Lights.
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Chef Yannick Alléno has helmed the kitchen at Pavillon Ledoyen on the Champs-Elysées, one of the most prestigious and oldest restaurants in Paris, since 2014. But in early April, he added an even more exclusive dining option to his portfolio: a private room hidden behind a trompe-l'oeil door in the restaurant's kitchen.

Inside, which debuted April 5 but has remained under-the-radar (go ahead and Google it—you won't find much), is a partnership between Alléno and Benoît Gouez, Moët & Chandon's chef de cave. Alléno has been an ambassador for the storied champagne house since 2014, and he calls the experience "the culmination of a long-standing partnership." He worked with Gouez to design a menu that pairs with Grand Vintage Collection champagnes ranging from 1990 to 2000 that are exclusively available at the restaurant.


Yannick Alléno and Benoît Gouez

The hideaway, which Alléno says he imagined as "a journey through a modern vision of French art de vivre and exquisite champagne savoir-faire," seats a maximum of six guests per night, making it truly one of the most unique places to dine in Paris. Unlike the dark dining rooms of other top restaurants, it's bright enough to actually see what you're eating (for good reason), with cream-colored wood furnishings and a large glass window that offers a peek into the bustling kitchen.

There are two menus available—a "gourmet aperitif" and a "gastronomy odyssey." The gourmet aperitif includes the 1993 and 2000 vintages along with shared dishes like veal sweetbread and morel mushrooms cooked with yellow wine. The gastronomy odyssey, meanwhile, features a choice of Grand Vintage Collection 1995/1996/1998 or Grand Vintage Collection 1990/1992/1999, paired with roasted green asparagus with smoked oil and salted saffron papaya with Kalamata black olives in a Sansho pepper sauce, among other dishes. Crispy butternut squash ravioli and frangipane with melted butter flavored with citrus and bitter almonds paired with the Grand Vintage Collection 1992 champagne, adding some sweet and toasted aromas to the palate.

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Alléno, who holds three Michelin stars at both Pavillon Ledoyen and his restaurant at Courchevel's Cheval Blanc hotel, talked excitedly about the concept and his fare, noting that sauce is "the main pillar of the French food" when I visited Inside last month as a guest of the champagne house. Our dinner began with langoustines served under a rice leaf, and subsequent plates included the smoked oil asparagus (some of the best—and biggest—versions of the vegetable I've ever seen), roasted Languedoc pigeon with tarragon oil, and coffee ice cream served with creamy hot chocolate.


Inside serves vintage Moët & Chandon as old as 1990.

Pavillon Ledoyen was the highest new entry on the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, and it's currently ranked number 31. Now that it has Inside, who knows how high its place on next year's list might be. 

Gourmet Aperitif: from €145 per person (including two glasses of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1993 and Grand Vintage Collection 2000, plus a shared platter)

Gastronomy Odyssey: from at €700 per person (including eight to 10 courses, each paired with a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection glass)

For Reservations: contact Pavillon Ledoyen at +33 01 5305 1000 or by email at [email protected].

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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