Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sunday Brunch at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris

L'Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris is a 5 star luxury hotel situated on Avenue Montaigne. The hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei and it is luxuriously well-appointed. In the restaurants, the menus and gastronomique creations are under the direction of michelin-star-rated chef, Alain Ducasse.

Having Sunday brunch at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris could turn out to be something of an experience, at any time of the year.

Here we are at the Alain Ducasse restaurant. Although I had been here for a birthday dinner and a get-together with friends before, this was my first time to have brunch. What is there to expect?

The first thing you notice is how classy and elegant the place is...with hand-polished silverware for the table settings, with servers in their tux outfits...

a fantabulous chandelier, exceptionally designed by Patrick Jouin, that I could not help but take pictures of, from different angles, as I plan to make my own, as inspired by this design.

As soon as this platter of specialty breads and sweet breads arrived - the viennoiseries of Christophe Michalak, a champion, world-class patisiere - , out the window went my stand about how bad it is to eat something white and something sweet. To lessen the damage, my family and I shared each one, so that we could taste more than one or two, with some French fruit marmalades and jams and the best salted butter! And, of course there was that offer for a glass of Champagne or wine...I opted for a glass of fresh orange juice.

If only our main courses would have arrived sooner so we could stop eating these vicious hard to stop once you start.

I ordered the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, topped with soft-boiled eggs and truffle mushrooms, and served with bechamel sauce...

while my daughter and my husband went for the brunch special: Soft boiled eggs with truffles/dark truffle sauce, on a bed of mashed artichokes...innovative, I thought.

You can tell that the ambiance and the other amenities like this chair designed with a pull-out bag table will be part of the bill, right? But, it's alright once in a while. This is how I learn to prepare something new, as I deconstruct what I eat and go home to make my version. It ends up pretty close, most of the time, but turning out more healthy, like limiting the number on that platter of viennoiseries; using whole-wheat bread for the Eggs Benedict; trying out versions of a mashed bed of something for the eggs, such as using mashed sweet potatoes/squash, or mashed lentils, to be served with a reduced sweetened-balsamic/garlic sauce; and with healthy freshly-made juices.

I have found new ways to serve soft-boiled eggs, thanks to Alain Ducasse.

Inspired to make something like these by just looking and imagining the flavors? Head to the kitchen and discover how creative you can be.


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