The mythical restaurant of the palace reopens with new decor on the occasion of the Grand Prix, on the eighth floor of the Rotunda, renovated but preserving its roots.
At first bite, the regulars will recognize their treasured culinary spot. Certainly, the colours have evolved but the special atmosphere remains, in the same basic rooms yet with a brand new feel. Nearly three years after its closure and the destruction of the wing of the Rotunda, the restaurant Le Grill has reopened its doors very recently. This is the first stage of the renovations at the Hotel de Paris. To reach the eighth floor, crossing the lobby of the hotel, some warning signs of changes are hinted at with the colours. Light marble, chandeliers, monumental elevator doors, the elegant tone has been set.
On arrival, on the top floor of the Rotunda, the restaurant has already been hosting the public for a while being true to its roots. “There are changes, but with continuity,” says Didier Boidin, SBM’s Director of Hotel Operations. “It’s a new version of Le Grill, which kept the original spirit that we did not want to change too much, but that we modernised. We were affraid that people would not recognise it.”
What has not changed is the spectacular view from this vantage overlooking the Mediterranean. Blue, blue and more blue in the renewed decoration. Klein’s intense blue carpet blends with a more iridescent bluish shade on the velvet armchairs in the 85-seat main room, with 18 armchairs in the adjoining Churchill lounge. With the reconstruction, the restaurant has gained a terrace larger than the original. The ceiling, on the other hand, has kept its height. The former retractable roof mechanism, removed during the destruction of this wing of the hotel, has been retained and re-installed for a heavenly opening between dishes.
As for the cuisine, in particular, the head of the Hôtel de Paris, Franck Cerutti, imagined a Mediterranean cuisine to match the landscape, “which is the reflection of the place”, explained the chef. The offering at the moment includes gamberoni caught in the bay, artichokes, courgettes, and the first chanterelles. In terms of roast meat over a wood fire, the signature of the establishment, lamb, game bird and chicken are roasted on the spit. A show for the whole room in this open kitchen. “I have worked all my life in a basement, now I see the sea, the mountains, the horizon from this kitchen, It’s exceptional,” smiled Franck Cerutti. And the gourmand palates can rest assured, since for dessert the chef has kept on the menu the mythical soufflé with Grand Marnier, red fruits, vanilla or chocolate, the dish as famous as the establishment. It is a treat that should not be resisted. Open every day from breakfast to dinner, Le Grill proposes a three-course menu, at lunch, at 55 euros.
“As we go, we will unfold the new identity of the Hotel de Paris,” promised Didier Boidin, director of hotel operations of the SBM. The reopening of the restaurant Le Grill is a symbolic first step in the transformation of the palace, the flagship of the group. The opening of some rooms and suites should follow in the coming days in this brand new wing of the Rotunda, though it will mean closure of other areas of the hotel to proceed with its complete overhaul. Among the major projects of the coming weeks, the complete restoration of the Bar Américain – another emblematic site of the Hotel de Paris – which will ultimately benefit from a terrace. The lobby of the hotel will also be completely renovated in the coming weeks. Alain Ducasse’s new Louis XV restaurant will be the last change for the local clientele. It will soon return to the former garden space at the foot of the Rotonda, on the occasion of the construction work on the Place du Casino. Great changes to come therefore in the palace, which should look brand new in two years.
So as Le Grill reopens with its new décor, it ushers in a new era and a new look for the treasured Hotel.