Joël Robuchon is a 2 star Michelin restaurant in the Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo. The hotel is elegant with a wealth of expensive cars dropping off their passengers for the hotel or dining. The formal dining room is beautiful and filled with people, as the best deal for this expensive place is at lunch. At lunch they offer 3 different size tastings, that all include amuse-bouche and dessert but vary with either 1 to 2 starters for 1 -2 main courses and the inclusion of coffee or tea. In each you pick what you want for from their lists of cold or hot starters, main courses and dessert (always the dessert trolley) or cheese. It is a good system so you can pretty much tailor you menu to your wants.
There is a good sized wine list that is very pricey but they also offer a couple wines by the glass at reasonable price at lunch. Water is included in the tasting price. Lovely linens, incredible service, wonderful natural light, no background music, small but very functional purse stools and adequate spacing between the tables for noise control all add to the fun and tasty dining experience that awaits you here.
First to arrive is an amazing bread cart filled with many good choices and all accompanied by incredibly tasty butter, molded into an oval from the large chunk on the cart and a dish of olive oil. I chose to try the basil, which was soft and buttery, the brioche, which didn’t need any additional butter as it was French pastry at its best and baguette which was crusty, chewy and nice. Some ultra thin crisps were also presented in a toast holder, which were nice but didn’t have the flavor of the raised breads.
The amuse bouche was a foie gras and cream mixture that was accented with balsamic. It was totally yummy.
For a starter we tried the Foie Gras of duck in a natural terrine. It was accompanied by some non-greasy toast. It was lightly dotted with seasonings and salt on the top and of very high quality. It was good alone, on the plain toast and on some of the options from the bread cart. You can believe that there wasn’t a drop of it left on the plate.
White beans in a Barolo vinegar dressing with a soft-boiled egg and chorizo were perfectly cooked. Some bread croutons added a nice textural contrast the very savory broth and beans. It tasted like there was some cheese included also.
The Artichoke was roasted and covered with a chickpea and tumeric cappucino. It was creamy and accented with crunchy bits of the stem and fried chips. It was delicious.
Lamb roasted on a spit was a special offering that day and we wisely chose it. Served with their famous mashed potatoes, it was covered with a heavily reduced, sticky flavorful sauce. The ultra rich potatoes are a delight on their own but so was this incredible meat, especially some of the bits of crispy skin. There were no large gobs of fat, just tender succulent meat that was wonderful.
If you choose to have tea they have a cart of fresh herbs from which to make it.
Either way get ready for the amazing dessert trolley. It is packed with scrumptious choices and you can order as much or as little as you want. The baba au rum was a definite favorite and you can tell why if you try it – moist, flavored with rum as it’s served and accompanied by a dish of whipped cream – it is to die for. The roasted pineapple was just okay. The chocolate caramel pie was a mix of chocolate and crunch and caramel – what could be bad about this? A hazelnut creamy pie was accented with a bit of jam on top and on bottom and hazelnut topping. It was creamy, whippy and nice but the baba and chocolate/caramel were the standouts to me.
The meal was finished with a chocolate covered caramel with a touch of gold. It was sweet, good, gooey and a marvelous finish to a spectacular meal.