On Top of the World…or At Least, Paris

Le Jules Verne

Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 75007 Paris, France

La tour Eiffel – perhaps the most iconic monument in the entire world, it is a breath-taking lattice tower standing at over 320 metres tall. Situated on its second level is Le Jules Verne, a fine-dining restaurant with lauded chef and restauranteur, Alain Ducasse, at the helm. Ducasse is known most famously as the first chef to hold 3 Michelin stars simultaneously in 3 different cities, and is one of the most renowned chefs of his generation. Since its opening in 2007, Ducasse has earned Le Jules Verne one Michelin star for its classic French cuisine, excellent wines and impeccable service.

K and I ummed and uhhed about whether to visit this unique, albeit very expensive, restaurant for several weeks before our trip, but eventually decided to take the plunge. It’s not every day that we get to visit Paris, and dining 125 metres up the Eiffel Tower is certainly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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The VIP treatment commenced before we even set foot into the restaurant in the form of a dedicated entrance and elevator directly up to the second level, bypassing the 2-hour queue amassing at the base of the Tower. As we were shown to our seats, it was hard not to stop and stare at the glorious view – the entire city of Paris, sprawled out below us.

We both opted for the 3-course lunch menu for €105, which allowed us to choose from 3 dishes for each course.

 

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Drinks

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Bread with salted butter from Brittany

I could eat that butter forever – creamy, studded with sea salt and embossed with the Le Jules Verne logo.

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Amuse-bouche
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Preserved duck foie gras, Sauternes gelée, toasted brioche

While I know foie gras isn’t for everyone, this was simply phenomenal. Beautifully smooth and creamy, perfectly complemented by the acidity of the gelée

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Delicate mussel, shellfish and crustacean velouté, seaweed butter croutons

The vivid colour of the velouté reflects its intense, crustacean flavour. The little mound of delicate shellfish added both substance and texture to this appetiser, making it K’s favourite dish of the meal.

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Roasted pork chop, mashed potatoes, charcutière condiment
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Mashed potatoes

The pork chop was unbelievably tender and the accompanying mashed potatoes were out of this world buttery and smooth.

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Hand-chopped beef tartare, choron sauce

Again, raw beef is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but in this case, it was executed perfectly. There was just the right amount of acidity in the tartare to counterbalance the intensity of the raw meat. In comparison, the chips were quite unexciting on the side.

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Cherry tartlet, Marasquin ice cream

This dessert may not look like much, but the cherries had just the right amount of tartness to finish off such an indulgent meal

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Crispy ‘Tower nut’, chocolate from our Factory in Paris

Le Jules Verne’s signature dessert, modelled after the nuts used in the construction of the Eiffel Tower. Decadent, rich and crispy – what’s not to love?

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Espresso

Accompanying our dessert dishes was a complimentary platter of little cakes and macarons, as well as dark chocolate truffles and vanilla marshmallows. By this time we were so full we only just managed to try a bit of everything before cradling our food bellies in defeat.

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After lunch we were allowed access to the viewing deck above the restaurant, again, bypassing the huge queue as well as the usual entrance fee. The views were absolutely breath-taking, and made for the perfect end to a beautiful meal. Sure, the price tag is steep, even for the quality of the food and service, but it’s important to remember that you’re paying for the atmosphere, the location and the view. It’s certainly an experience that I’ll never forget, and a very special addition to my personal bucket list.

xx Judy

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