Behind the sparkling crystal curtain of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, is a perfect world filled with contemporary French food, wine, and chocolate
The name Alain Ducasse is known around the world and is certainly familiar to me. I have known about Alain Ducasse and his culinary accomplishments for some time now, and have been eager to try one of his famed restaurants. While we were in London, making reservations at his namesake restaurant inside of the Art Deco, 1930’s style Dorchester Hotel was at the top of our to-do list.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is an upscale and modern French restaurant with three Michelin-stars. This fancy-foodie destination is located in the middle of London, overlooking Hyde Park and Mayfair. Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet takes a progressive and sophisticated approach on Alain Ducasse’s global style, creating cuisine that emphasizes fresh and seasonal ingredients from Britain and France...and it’s worth every delicious French bite!
Putting a Famous Reputation to the Test
There is something inherently impeccable about Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. Every detail seemed intentional and flawlessly executed, so it felt special just to be standing in the space of the restaurant. The charming Executive Chef Jean Philippe Blondet was a part of the perfection. When we snuck into the kitchen, I think Chef Blondet knew that the fastest way to my heart is amazing food and wine. He greeted us with champagne, mini fried raviolis, and the best cheese puffs I’ve ever had (formally known as Gougères). For a three-star Michelin restaurant, Chef Blondet had an incredibly relaxed demeanor and it’s easy to attach on to his every word. I will be the first to tell you that he surely knows how to create impressionable, to-die-for French cuisine.
Elegance is the theme of Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, and you can feel it before you even step in the restaurant. To get to the restaurant, you have to walk through the lobby and tearoom of The Dorchester, which is filled with grandiose flower arrangements and women wrapped in designer labels. Compared to the posh extravagance of the hotel, the restaurant exhibits a more modern feel. Designed by Patrick Jouin, a contemporary French designer, the restaurant is modeled after British tradition, Hyde Park, and the gastronomy of Ducasse himself. The dining room, though modern, exudes a beautiful softness in its shades of beige, cream, and taupe. The centerpiece of the décor is the Table Lumière, a table for up to six that sits in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by 4,500 sparkling crystals. Guests inside the fiber-optic curtain can see out into the restaurant, but those on the outside cannot see in. It’s perfect for extra privacy or an extra-special night.
I must say I felt a little out of place in my leather jacket and knee-high boots, but not because the staff made me feel that way. This restaurant is just the kind of a place you want to get glamourous for, and in fact, the staff were outstanding. The service was professional with a lot of personality. They told us expertly about the food and wine, but kept the tone casual and comfortable. The friendly service was really the icing on top of an already outstanding experience.
When the Food Is So Good, You Have to Order Two Desserts!
The menu at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester focuses on contemporary French cuisine based on seasonal French and British ingredients. Because of this, the menu is constant transforming with dynamically pleasing creativity. At a restaurant like this, we recommend a tasting menu with a wine pairing. This route will guarantee that you taste the best the restaurant has to offer.
We started our meal with Dorset crab accompanied with celeriac and caviar. The seared duck foie gras and Jerusalem artichoke that followed was a hearty and complex dish. Our favorite entrée might have been the simmered halibut, served with beetroot and tender radish. But the Anjou Pigeon à la broche with leeks was a close second! Not only was this dish delectable, its presentation was so lovely that we didn’t want to ruin it! (We’re glad we did, of course.)
By the end of the meal, it became obvious that this was the kind dining experience that had to conclude with at least two desserts. Don’t question our thinking, just do it and thank us later! The passion fruit sorbet was so ripe, sweet, and tangy that we thought for a moment we were on a tropical island. The chocolates offered were wonderfully decadent and literally melt-in-your-mouth good. The baba is better than anything you’ll find in Sicily, and the rum they pour on top is a game changer. Make sure you order milk and tea, too! The milk arrives frothed and the herbal tea is freshly cut and prepared table-side.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorcester maintains perfection with its 1000 bin wine list. Though it is constantly changing, 85% of the list is from France, 10% is from other European countries, and 5% is from the New World. The wine selection that was crafted for our tasting menu was a product of the expertise of four sommeliers. No matter what, you must leave this restaurant full. Indulge, relax, and be happy in this glutinous heaven!
For more information about Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester London, visit their website: