Glittering Monte Carlo, home of James Bond casinos, megayachts and supercars under the palms, is one of the most glamorous addresses on earth, so it’s no wonder that Monaco is home to an abundance of Michelin starred restaurants.
Headed by ‘super-chefs’ of dazzling skill, the best restaurants of Monaco are simply dripping in luxury and indulgence. From the belle époque hotels sitting high above the port down to elegant beach clubs of flowing champagne and caviar, the Principality of Monaco is the perfect culinary destination.
If you’re on a yachting vacation on the French Riviera be sure to drop anchor in Monaco and enjoy cocktails and champagne on your yacht’s sundeck, city lights reflecting on the water and the palace shining golden on the clifftop. Then step ashore into the summer night, and head to one of Monaco’s top 5 restaurants.
5. Blue Bay, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Michelin Stars: 1
This exceptional restaurant wins inclusion on this list for its innovative menu inspired by a perfectly-balanced merging of Mediterranean and Caribbean flavours. Chef Marcel Ravin draws on his Martinique heritage and pairs it with classic Mediterranean ingredients for new flavours and textures, such as ‘Suvaki duckling with spicy cocoa, served with fois gras, spinach and quinoa Barbajuan’. The setting, as one expects from Monaco, is spectacular, with panoramic views of the yachts gathered in the port and out to sea.
4. Yoshi, Hotel Metropole. Michelin Stars: 1
The next shining light on the Monegasque dining scene is at the exceedingly plush Hotel Metropole, which you reach via a driveway flanked with palms and supercars. Owned by super-chef Joel Robuchon, Japanese chef Takéo Yamazaki creates a superb Japanese-Western menu, where delicate fois gras and grilled eel millefueille sit alongside the freshest sushi and veal fillets with miso. It’s not just the food: the décor also succeeds in gently marrying east and west, the opulence of the Hotel Metropole blending seamlessly with Japanese influences and a Japanese-inspired garden. Decadent yet extremely modern, this is a particularly Monagesque success.
3. Elsa, Hotel Monte Carlo Beach. Michelin Stars: 1
This relative newcomer to the gourmet list of Monaco has sprung onto the scene with a gorgeous menu of fresh, seasonal, local and 100% organic ingredients. The menu, created by Head Chef Paolo Sari, is inspired by the produce and flavours of the French and Italian Rivieras, and Elsa is the first Michelin starred restaurant to be certified as completely organic. The setting on the deck at the beach is as light and fresh as the food itself: dine on roasted giant langoustines and raw red prawns with crunchy fennel, while looking out at a view that is all crisp white linen and endless blue sea, surrounded by the sparkling light and life of the Mediterranean. This restaurant, perhaps given its beachside setting, is very elegant yet completely unstuffy- a stunning place for a relaxed, exquisite lunch.
2. Joel Robuchon Monte Carlo, Hotel Metropole. Michelin Stars: 2
We’re back to the stunning Hotel Metropole for one of Joel Robuchon’s flagship restaurants. Robuchon holds more Michelin stars than anyone else on earth, and as you dine on simple and flawless Mediterranean cuisine like ‘quail with caramelized skin stuffed with foie gras’, it is rather easy to see why. The restaurant décor is decadent and luxurious, with soft carpets, upholstered chairs and drapes leading out to the gorgeous terrace dining with views over the water. A signature element of Robuchon’s restaurant is the open kitchen and chef’s table where you can watch Head Chef Christophe Cussac and sometimes the master himself at work.
1. Louis XV-Alain Ducasse, Hotel de Paris. Michelin stars: 3
There are restaurants in this world, and then there are masterpieces. Commissioned by Prince Rainier II of Monaco in 1987, this sumptuous restaurant high above the port in the Hotel de Paris won 3 Michelin stars within 3 years, and more incredibly, has not lost a single one in the intervening 25 years. Yet those of you who have visited before are in for rather a surprise- the opulent ‘Palace of Versailles’-style décor of gilt, cherubs, heavy drapes and flowers has been entirely overhauled: the beautiful dining room is now a place of light and air, with furniture of pale leather, chrome and polished stainless steel sitting under a vast glass chandelier. It is as lavish and grand as its predecessor but infinitely more modern: it is Belle Epoque for the 21st Century. While the exquisite Mediterranean menu has also been dramatically refreshed with dishes like ‘Blue lobster with myrtle berries, ginger and roasted peaches’, Chef Alain Ducasse and Chef Dominique Lory continue to produce food that reminds you what the difference is between two Michelin stars, and three.
This list of the 5 best Monaco restaurants, of course, could go on – Monaco is a very special culinary destination – but we wanted to highlight la crème de la crème! Of course, in this sparkling city it is not just about the food, but the visual spectacular, the opulence, the fine service, the extensive wine cellars…and everywhere, that magical view. So as hard as it is to drag yourself away from the luxury and indulgence of your yacht or villa, make the effort to step off the passerelle while in Monaco to dine on la crème de la crème!
This 5 Best Restaurants in Monaco 2015 list was compiled by Worth Avenue Yachts, the luxury yacht charter agency with locations in Monaco, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Worth Avenue Yachts supply the ultimate yacht charter in Monaco and worldwide.