Monte Carlo, situated in the Principality of Monaco, has become synonymous with hedonism, excess and unadulterated opulence. While the area’s population is only 3,500, Monte Carlo is replete with some of the finest restaurants in the world. Here is our guide to the best.
Slip on your finest regalia and saunter into the Restaurant Joel Rubuchon Monte-Carlo. The restaurant was opened in 2004 by chef Joel Rubuchon, and it was his first in the Principality. The interior is rich and welcoming, with red furnishings lending the space a feeling of calm refinement. The open Teppanyaki-style kitchen allows punters to watch their food being adeptly cooked. The richness of the aesthetic is matched only by the high quality of the culinary experience. Chef Christophe Cussac, a faithful disciple of Joel, is at the helm. Highly recommended is the ‘Discovery Menu’, which offers a multi-course fiesta of flavor. Especially noteworthy is the quail filled with foie gras and truly divine caramelized, truffled mashed potatoes.
For one of the best views in Monte Carlo, meander down to Le Vistamar, where head chef Joël Garault concocts delightfully original dishes with foods of the water-dwelling kind. Take a seat on the expansive terrace that offers virgin views of the sparkling Mediterranean while sipping an aperitif. The fish on offer are fin-flappingly fresh. An excellent choice from the diverse menu would be the blue lobster, which is served with foamy garden peas, caramelized pearl onions, and bathed in a fine froth infused with smoked duck breast. Wash down your briny fare by quaffing a piquant by-the-glass wine from the restaurant’s enormous and intoxicatingly varied wine menu.
Book a table at top Monégasque chef, Alain Ducasse’s, Le Louis XV and step into a fantastical world of elegant grandeur and culinary perfection. The dining space of this restaurant is breathtakingly graceful. The clean white interior is replete with cascading chandeliers juxtaposed against a dramatic centerpiece of sturdy foliage, and crisp white flowers, all tastefully entangled. All of the clocks are stopped at 12 as a reminder to frequenters that they are to languor in the moment, and savor every glorious mouthful. An excellent dish on the ‘Pour les Gourmets menu is the succulent guinea fowl from ‘les landes’, cooked over a wood-fire and served with girolle mushrooms and romaine lettuce.
Restaurant and champagne bar Horizon Deck is nestled high up on the face of the Hotel Fairmont Monte Carlo. The fare offered is a fusion of Italian and Mediterranean influences and are all made out of freshly sourced, local ingredients. Drench your parched lips with a chilled glass of champagne while soaking in the view of Monaco’s Opera House, the Prince’s Palace, and the infamous Casino, all framed in the deep blue of the mid-morning Mediterranean. Make sure you taste the richly flavored long burger. Highly recommended is the expansive buffet, accompanied by warm, fresh bread rolls. Ensure yourself a seat in this delicious midday feaster by booking over the phone.
Thai and Japanese restaurant, Maya Bay emulates the calming beauty of Thailand to astounding effect. Recline under the red glow of the suspended hanging lights that were inspired by the festival of lights in Loy Krathong in Thailand. Bathe in the delicate atmosphere in among the luxurious Asian-inspired decor while perusing the expertly constructed menu. Perambulate out onto the Thai terrace that is cocooned in an exotic garden reminiscent of the restaurant’s namesake on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi Lee. An excellent menu choice, if a little expensive at 295 Euros, is the marbled Wagyu rib of beef for two people. The Wagyu breed is widely considered to be one of the premium sources of beef, and the meat is grilled and served with a lip-tingling spicy sauce. Bookings can be made over the phone.
For exemplary Italian cuisine with a heavy Tuscan accent, there is no better destination than Alain Ducasse’s La Trattoria restaurant. The restaurant’s location right at the water’s edge means that punters enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Mediterranean. While deciding upon your culinary conquest, choose one the many high quality Italian wines from the Liguria and Sicily regions. New chef, Patrick Laine has lovingly crafted myriad tantalizing dishes including his speciality whole roasted sea bass, which is served with crisp, flavor-drenched sun-dried vegetables. The menu is comfortingly diverse, offering all manner of sea-dwelling dish, and sumptuously succulent meats. Be sure to book over the phone in advance to ensure a table.
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Cosmopolitan by name and cosmopolitan by nature, this exquisitely multicultural restaurant offers famished frequenters a beguiling Mediterranean twist to an Asian-inspired menu. The restaurant offers a refreshing change to the high price tag of most other eateries in the Principality but loses none of the quality. The establishment is open at all hours of the day, so trundle down for a light lunch, early dinner, or late-night wine-slurping soiree. Try the delectable fresh squid ink tagliolini pasta, which is served with a zesty mixed seafood sauce and homemade bisque. For diners with capacious appetites, this is the ideal destination, with the extravagant portion sizes matched only by the beauty and comfort of the outdoor eating space, for those long, lazy Mediterranean evenings.
Sling your keys to the on-site valet and glide into the elegantly laid out and intimate setting that restaurant La Piazza has to offer. The restaurant is a mere dice roll away from the famed Casino of Monte Carlo and a sandy saunter away from the Larvatto beach. The menu is broad, offering hot and cold hors’ d’oeuvres, meats, soups, pasta, fish, and all manner of desserts. Particularly notable are the luscious grilled lamb chops sourced from the Alps, which are delicately perfumed with thyme. Converse under the low lights of the restaurants interior, and cleanse your palate with the refreshing pink grapefruit soup, perfumed with rosemary. Bookings should be made over the phone.
The appropriately named Blue Bay restaurant offers diners the chance to sample ecstatically innovative cuisine that chef, Marcel Ravin, has devised over a lifetime. Ravin hails from the French Caribbean and those influences are palpable on the escapades menu, which starts at 78 Euros for five courses, and 88 Euros for six. Sink your expectant teeth into a saddle of lamb, roasted with Voatsiperifery pepper and delightfully coupled with new vegetables smothered in a tamarind mayonnaise. Enjoy the idyllic sea view while sampling the creative hot avocado soufflé and chocolate, served with almond, coconut and cinnamon ice cream. Make sure you book a table in advance over the phone to avoid disappointment.
Blissfully roosting on the cusp of the Mediterranean is salubrious restaurant, L’Hirondelle. Chef Jacky Oberti offers guests a ‘health menu’ on which every dish is approximately 500 kcal, ensuring customers are able to enjoy high dining without fear of aggravating their arteries. Slide your lips around the whole sea bass or sea bream that are sourced from Mediterranean, “sustainable development” wholesalers. These are grilled with fennel, and served with steamed seasonal vegetables. The daily menu offers dishes made from ingredients freshly sourced each morning from the market. To ensure a seat in this hotbed of mirth, book over the phone in advance.