We continue our series of articles about Michelin restaurants in Monaco where you learn not only about the signature dishes of the restaurants but also exclusive interviews with the best star chefs and sommeliers. Discover 10 unique stories about culinary marvels of Monaco!
Elsa Restaurant in Monte-Carlo: Organic Ingredients & Unique Approach
Michelin starred Elsa is Monaco’s first one hundred percent organic restaurant with Ecocert certification that offers a contemporary menu packed with surprises, whilst exclusively using local seasonal produce.
Elsa, which is part of the Monte Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group is a bright and modern restaurant with a terrace that overlooks the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. However the essence of Elsa is the successful marrying of pure organic food with gastronomical excellence.
This unique one star Michelin restaurant is among the elite of Monaco’s gastronomical locations thanks to the talent and creativity of its executive chef, Paolo Sari. The Michelin guide refers to Elsa as one of the best addresses in Monte Carlo to find cuisine of great finesse.
Paolo Sari is as passionate as they come and he has one firm rule – one hundred percent organic cuisine, including everything from the salt and pepper to the brut and rosé Champagnes.
Chef Sari’s day in the kitchen starts with a rigorous selection of food products including fruits, vegetables and herbs supplied by farmers from neighbouring villages such as Saint-Jeannet in France. This reflects his Venetian philosophy of “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
His culinary philosophy has developed hand-in-hand with his extraordinary life path, which included a three-month repose in a Buddhist monastery which fuelled his cooking ideals.
Chef Sari’s respect for nature has been rewarded. Elsa is the first gastronomic restaurant in the PACA region to be certified „Bio“, or organic, by the certifying body Ecocert.
Elsa offers twenty carefully selected dishes on its menu by which Chef Sari has brought together gourmet food and healthy cuisine, the ultimate achievement. His cuisine, which is „an ode to the Mediterranean” requires strong work ethics, which are clearly reflected in every dish. The chef’s team focuses on local produce with a seasonal approach. At Elsa, be ready to undergo a pure and organic dining experience.
“I wanted to change our approach to purchasing food. I wanted to know where the deliveries came from, the meat from the abattoir, where the squid were caught, the provenance of the sage, grey shallots and green garlic. True cuisine is transparent and constant.” – Paolo Sari
“For me, luxury is eating baby peas that were picked an hour earlier or maybe a carrot that was just pulled out of the ground.
Organic means love; everything made with love is a success.” – Paolo Sari
“Winning a Michelin star is tough work; winning a Michelin star using organic products raises the bar for all Chefs and the purity of the cuisine at Elsa deserves such acclaim. This is why we are blessed with this location, as Elsa is the only one hundred percent organic Michelin star restaurant in the world.
If Monaco is aiming to show us that it is a gourmet capital, the addition of Elsa to the list of local restaurants is a golden arrow in the Principality’s bow.
One of the most important ingredients to a successful kitchen is the ingredients themselves, the freshness and quality of the fare. At Elsa, you’re not just getting the best, but you are also getting local, organic, un-treated produce. This equates to purity on the plate, crisp fresh flavours and the chance for Chefs like Paulo Sari to perform at the highest level.
The views from Elsa are also amazing, with vistas across the Mediterranean and back onto Monaco from East to West; sunsets are quite stunning.
Of the highest quality, compliments to the Chef!” – Bradley Mitton
Elsa Restaurant Specialty
Pan-fried Sea Bass Fillet Scented with Citrus,
on a Bed of Mediterranean Ratatouille
Recipe (serves four)
|For the Fish
4x150g sea bass fillet
|For the Ratatouille
30cl extra virgin olive oil
|For the Garnish
1 pinch chives
Organic Wines at Elsa
“The wine list at Elsa is superb and again, if you want purity, you have it here. Wonderful organic Champagnes from de Sousa, organic and local wines from the unique regions of Bellet, Bandol and Corsica.
Organic wine is produced from grapes grown in accordance with the principles of organic farming, which typically excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
The consumption of organic wine has been growing at a rate of 5% per year for the last ten years, with about one thousand organic growers in France, nearly half of the number globally, so locally this is a trend.
The legal definition of organic wine varies from country to country, however the primary difference in the way that organic wine is defined relates to the use (or non-use) of preservatives during the wine-making process. Grapes that are fermented with yeast, that is just about it, pure and unadulterated, often without negative side-effects that you often feel from commercial wines.” – Bradley Mitton
Published with the consent of the authors of “Signature Dishes of the Principality of Monaco with Wine Pairing Guide“ by Bradley Mitton (Author), Zsolt Szemerszky.