This is a review of our dinner at Ledoyen in Paris. Ledoyen is a 3 Michelin Star restaurant. For me, three mistakes happened during the meal that should not happen at this restaurant. One would be inexcusable at any restaurant, and 2 could be overlooked, but not at Ledoyen. Our bill with 3 tasting menus, one wine pairing, 2 glasses of Champagne, cheese, and water was over 1,400 Euros. At this level, perfection is expected.
Mistake #1 – Details matter. I once watched a documentary about Grace in Chicago which also has 3 Michelin Stars. The chef was personally involved in the selection of the chairs and tables. He wanted tables with one leg in the middle so diners would not bang their legs into the table legs. At Ledoyen, I sat right next to the table leg and could not relax my legs. I would not care if I were having a quick meal at a casual place, but this was a 3 hour+ meal. As another example, Eleven Madison Park, also 3 Stars, sets their plates down so that if you turn the plate over to see the label, the words on the other side of the plate will be right side up. This is the detail I expect at this level of dining.
Mistake #2 – There were lights on the wall beside each table. Ours had the bulb out. Again, at this level, it should of been noticed, and fixed/replaced prior to service.
The above two may seem minor, and they would be excusable at any other place, but the third, which I will describe later, would not be.
*I do not remember what every dish was, the menu they gave me is out of order, and there are spelling mistakes on the menu. I have spelled the dishes as they are printed. Here are the menus:
The meal started withthree amuse bouche. All three were a delicious start to the meal.
The dish below was an example of the chef using unexpected ingredients that are not common in French cooking. In this case lychee. I thought that the dish was well executed and the ingredient was incorporated well.
For the main dishes, you could select between turbot in two services or millefeuille Wagyu.
Two people had the Wagyu and I had the fish. The fish was prepared table side.
The first course was wood fire roasted filet with cacio e pepe. The pepper was absolutely delicious and fragrant. I was told it was from Indonesia.
The second part was gratined white skin and flesh gnocchi with chanterelles.
Now for the 3rd fatal mistake. The wagyu. It was way over seasoned. So salty and verging on inedible! We had two people at the table have this course, and both confirmed it was too salty. I also tried it and thought it was way over seasoned.
Next was a cheese course – house made Fontainebleau cheese with viognier jelly and fermented fir buds. The flavors were delicate and well executed.
Then a traditional cheese course (optional).
Next was a palate cleanser prior to dessert.
Then three other dessert which I do not recall.
Overall, the setting was gorgeous and the service was perfect. My disappointment was with the food. No one dish had a wow factor. I could see the chef trying to incorporate more exotic ingredients into French food. For example, Indonesian pepper and lychee. I can see why they would do this and in a North American restaurant at this level I would understand it, but for me, in France, I would prefer more traditional preparations. Without the over seasoned Wagyu, I would of rated this meal a 8/10. However, my final rating with the error is 7.5/10