Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Trip to Paris, France: Le Cinq

The next morning, we went to the Lourve. As expected, I was underwhelmed my Mona Lisa but reveled the Greek and Roman wing along with Napolean's Apartment. After a few hours of walking around, it was time to go back to the hotel to change for our special lunch at Le Cinq. While planning this trip, I wanted one opulent meal. Well opulent in Paris can mean a lot of money. And I mean a lot. I'm no stranger to saving up to having an expensive meal in NYC but Paris was at another level. A level that didn't seem worth it. At least not at this point in my life. So instead of the usual dinner, I had an opulent lunch.

Le Cinq is a place where men wear jackets and women cocktail dresses, even at lunch. Menus with prices are offered to the men while women just pick among the list of dishes. Stools for the purses and several servers per table. Service is the grand luxury here. After we looked over the menu and decided on the 3 course prix fixe for €95 or €110 with the cheese course (also offered: a la carte, a tasting menu, and a speedy business lunch). Shortly after we chose our dishes, the amuse bouche arrived in front of us. From right to left, we enjoyed fried olives, a parmagiano crisp, and smoked salmon with cucumber. All very nice and delicate but strong flavors. I enjoyed the salmon the most.

The next set of amouse bouche with a goat cheese ravioli, radish with butter, and spring pea veloute. The soup was amazing. So velvety smooth and creamy.
Bread service included options such as baguette or an olive roll served with Bordier butter, both plain and seaweed. The latter was an umani bomb. I could not stop eating it. It was the kind of butter that I've been looking for.

And now my first course which was the sardines with Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. The sardines were served three waves. First roasted over a tomato tart, second as a spicy tartare, and third in a mustard sorbet. The amount of food was daunting. The tart itself was very large and filling. Although delicious, I think they offered too much food considering sardines are a richer fish.
The other first course was the white aspargus from Les Landes. The asparagus was lightly cooked and served with capers, fried anchovies, parmesan crisps and dressed with lemon. A light yet big start to the meal.
For my main course, I had the black angus hanger steak served with salted beets and meadow mushroom raviolis. The steak was cooked beautifully with so much red in the middle. The meat was incredibly tender. The accompanying beets and ravioli were the perfect garnishes to this dish. The sides were hearty enough to hold up to the red meat but not heavy on their own. A really well thought out dish. Good portion size too.
The second main course was the red mullet with sauteed Bellota chorizo and swisschard gratin. The lighter of the two main courses but still full of flavor.
I was pretty full at this point but I was hypnotize by the cheese trolley. Once they opened the trolley to display the options, I could smell the goodness wafting over. It smacked you in the face. I love cheese. The stinkier, the better. The server went over the options and I chose just one slice of camembert. I only had room for that small piece. I knew dessert was still coming. If only the first course were smaller.
After the cheese course, they gave us a palate cleanser with sorbet and apple gelee. Wow, really refreshing. Just a little bit went a long way.
For my dessert, I had the pineapple crystal leaf with jasmine tea granita and fresh litchee jelly over a soft cake. Again, the portion size was quite large. The pineapple was extremely sweet. The granita was a nice bitter contrast to the freshness while the litchee jelly added another layer of sweetness to the dish. Overall, I thought the dessert was just okay. I thought too much was going on. It would have been fine without the cake.
The other dessert option was the grand marnier iced mousse cake with hazelnut crumble and refreshed blood orange. Gold leaves to make it extra fancy. Another very interesting and modern take on dessert. Again, too much going on and the size was too big.
And finally the bon bon trolley rolled over. The server plated up a nice sample for all of us. First, the strawberry covered in marshmallow with pistachios on a stick. This was wonderful. I felt like a kid eating this but the flavors were very adult. Sweet, sticky, crunchy.
A plate of calissons (specialty of Aix En Provence), candied orange peels in chocolate, caneles, and mini slices of chocolate tarts.
Chocolate truffles and strawberry shortcakes. Those shortcakes were amazing. So incredibly naturally sweet. Really strawberry heaven.
And finally minty marshmallows served with natural spring water from the Black Forest, Germany.
I really enjoyed my lunch at Le Cinq. The service was attentive and superb without being stuffy. The food was excellent though the portion sizes seemed off. Some of the dishes seemed a bit too busy. If they would simplify them a bit then I would be even more satisfied.

Le Cinq
31 Avenue George V
Paris, France 75008
+33 1 49 52 71 54


  1. I was excited to stumble upon this post! My husband and I will be in Paris in two weeks, and like you, we wanted one opulent meal. We quickly realized that dinner would equate to a mortgage payment, so we're opting for lunch at Le Cinq! I would love to know if you were there on a weekend or a weekday. We'll be there for a Sunday lunch, and my nightmare is that weekend lunches aren't offered lunch menus (and thus, lunch prices.) Thoughts?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you for reading my blog.

      I went on a Monday afternoon so lunch prices were definitely available. I'm not sure if they offer lunch on the weekend but they were very responsive via phone and email. They even sent me the menu. Language was not an issue either. They spoke English just fine.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this on your blog! We plan to visit Paris in April and with the Ritz and Crillon closed we wanted to try out Le Cinq. I am very surprised at the amount of food on your plates! I would have imagined the portions to be much smaller. When one considers the room, the service, and the food, it is easy to spend the money for lunch. since the 95E price is not listed on the website this is valuable information so thank you for including it. I like to have a general idea of what I am in for before I arrive on the scene.

    So great photos and great information. Merci!

    1. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the meal. Paris is truly phenomenal.


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