Le Jules Verne
After we dropped our bags off at the Les Jardins d’Eiffel we cleaned ourselves up and got fancy for our lunch reservation at Le Jules Verne, a one star Michelin restaurant by the esteemed, Chef Alain Ducasse. Le Jules Verne is also known as one of the best restaurants with a spectacular view and indeed it was. Le Jules Verne is located inside the Eiffel Tower on the second level right above the viewing deck and 125m high. After your meal you have a free pass to go down to the viewing area and enjoy the sights of Paris. Reservations should be made at least a month in advance and require a down payment. If you do not cancel within (24 hours) or show up to your reservation you are charged with that down payment and it is not cheap.
This was a special afternoon for us for many reasons.
- Chef Alain Ducasse had a restaurant in Las Vegas, MIX, (now Rivea) and Adam took me to MIX as a surprise date. This was not your typical date night, Adam went above and beyond to connect with their pastry chef so that I could meet her! We spent the rest of the evening in the pastry kitchen and then indulged in four desserts all complimentary by the chef. Needless to say Chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant MIX and his staff has left their mark on our relationship.
- It was our first day in Europe, we were in Paris, one of the most romantic cities in the world and we were dining in the iconic Eiffel Tower! How could this not be special?
- We were celebrating being together for 3 years!
The moment you get to the Eiffel Tower entrance there are people to greet you and help direct you to the restaurant. As we walked to the Le Jules Verne entrance we were greeted again by a well dressed man that led us under a light brown canopy and connected us with another greeter who checked us in and radioed our arrival to the restaurant. We waited in this entrance for our private elevator to arrive so that we could go up to the restaurant. This was exceptional service and we weren’t even inside the restaurant yet – we felt like VIP’s, my kind of place. Going up the elevator was just as exciting as the anticipation of entering the restaurant. You can see all around you as the elevator takes you up and it is quite fun.
At last we made it inside and were greeted by a hostess and were taken to our table. We were seated close to the window and had a great view of the city below us. I always enjoy walking around the restaurant to get a full grasp of its atmosphere, I usually use going to the bathroom as an excuse to get up and wander around. I encourage guests to do the same because while we were seated I thought it was the only dining room. As I wandered through the restaurant I realized it had many intimate dining rooms with wonderful 180° views of Paris.The decor was simple and contemporary going hand in hand with their contemporary entrees. The atmosphere never felt stuffy like we didn’t belong, just simply elegant.
Chef Alain Ducasse is a world renown, celebrated chef that has defined French cuisine. With over 23 restaurants in 7 countries (from Tokyo to Las Vegas), 19 Michelin stars, several cookbooks, a cooking school, inns, the list goes on and you get the idea – he is one of the best. Everyone wants to work for him and everyone wants to experience his creative entrees at his Michelin awarded restaurants. Every restaurant will feel like you have escaped into another world with its luxurious setting and some of the best dining views imaginable. This was exactly what guests can expect at Le Jules Verne. At Le Jules Verne, the produce is sourced from their French regions and the food is prepared with a contemporary flair of classic French cuisine. The kitchen is managed by Executive Chef Pascal Feraud, Chef Eric Azoug and Head Pastry Chef Thomas Croize.
We were seated at a table close to the window and had a beautiful view. Just knowing how high we were, what building we were in, and what restaurant we were dining at enhanced the entire atmosphere and made us feel like we were on cloud nine. It is no wonder why Le Jules Verne is listed as one of the 50 Best Restaurants with a Spectacular View. In addition to the great views, the service was what I expected – attentive, knowledgeable, fine dining etiquette, all Michelin star worthy. The team, food, and atmosphere did not disappoint us, we were impressed!
The plating – everyone knows that we all eat with our eyes first and the food presentation here was always plated on a high level of elegance. The taste – classic French cuisine with a contemporary flair is their motto and they stayed true to their word. The food…. was delicious! It was true French cuisine and techniques at the highest level that I have always wanted to experience. Adam and I like to be able to try as much as we can when we dine out, in fact, Adam has a dining rule that a table can never have more than one of the same entrees. I couldn’t have married anyone better! We enjoyed the 3 course lunch tasting menu – appetizer, entree, dessert, along with several complimentary entrees. The service team first brought us our choice of bread, we chose a beautiful, freshly baked croissant. Then we received a wonderful complimentary amuse bouche of seared tuna that set the tone for the rest of our meal.
Preserved Duck Foie Gras with a Red Currant Gelee
The foie gras was rich and well balanced with the sweet and slight tartness of the red currant. Along the red currant gelee were dehydrated strawberries for a unique texture, fresh raspberries with gelee inside for extra tartness, fresh red currants and toasted halves of an exotic nut for a crunchy texture. Simple appetizer, executed with finesse and several different texture elements.
Warm White Asparagus with a Citrus Mouselline
The asparagus had a great bite and freshness to it. The colors of this plated appetizer were bright and beautiful. The citrus mousseline gave this dish a refreshing element and enhanced the flavor of the warm white asparagus. The grated and chunky hazelnuts were a nice addition of nuttiness and crunchy texture to the plate. Overall this entree showcased the white asparagus during its peak season well.
Roasted Veal Chop, Creamy Polenta, and Cooking Jus with Olives
I LOVED everything about this dish! The veal was cooked perfectly, it was juicy and delicious. The cooking jus with olives and green leaves were paired well bringing out the richness of the veal followed by a pop of flavor from the olives. Hidden in the green leaves were a crunch of toasted hazelnuts. The spinach polenta was served on the side in a small saucepan and was a suprising hit with its powerful green color, great flavor and texture.
Jaune des Landes Chicken with Girolle Mushrooms and Arbois Wine Sauce
This chicken was the best we have ever had! It was prepared in a technique we have never experienced before and cooked perfectly – juicy and delicious. The side components were paired well with the chicken, luscious mushrooms and a rich Arbois wine sauce. It is no wonder why this restaurant is so highly rated and acclaimed, this was a beautiful and well executed entree.
Now for the best part….dessert.
Crispy “Tower Nut”
By far one of the best desserts I have ever had! This is their signature dessert, which is actually produced at their manufacture in Paris. The dessert gets its name “Tower Nut” from being inspired and modeled after the nuts used to build the Eiffel Tower – very fitting. This decadent chocolatey dessert had layers of chocolate textures and different techniques served with hazelnut ice cream.
The bottom layer was a praline croustillant (feuilletine) a thin, crispy sheet. With the rich chocolate the praline gets lost, but consistently adds the perfect amount of contrast in texture to the smooth chocolate mousse. Encompassing the praline croustillant is a rich dark chocolate mousse – very luscious and silky smooth. The middle of the chocolate Tower Nut is A-MA-ZING!!!! The mousse has great structure to it, whereas the middle chocolate has a viscosity of almost a syrup. When you break the middle it slowly pours down the mousse and is slightly bitter, but with the sweet mousse and crispy croustillant everything balances out and is a bite of perfection. The dessert itself is plated simple – a shape of a Tower Nut, but what draws every guests attention is the shiny exterior of the mirror glaze. It sparkles with glitter and is so shiny guests can see their own reflection.
Served with the chocolate Tower Nut is hazelnut ice cream (I lost this picture) that tasted natural and nutty. The texture was smooth with no ice crystals, and the flavor of hazelnut was authentic and strong. The ice cream really balanced the richness of the chocolate Tower Nut making you want to go back for another perfect bite.
The team at Le Jules Verne were very thoughtful to enhance our experience by adding a candle and chocolate sign wishing us Happy Anniversary (in French)!
Raspberry Composition with Olive Oil Ice Cream
This dessert was almost a play on a strawberry shortcake. There was a vanilla sponge cake on the bottom of the bowl with a raspberry puree and the freshest raspberries piled on top. The raspberries were sweet and tart, but with the cake and a drizzle of olive oil it really balanced the flavors out and brought a refreshing element to the dish.
The side of olive oil ice cream was fantastic! Smooth texture with a faint flavor of a well produced olive oil, but with the drizzle of more olive oil on top of the ice cream the flavor of olive oil was rich and profound. A very refreshing and light dessert to end a fabulous meal on.
The icing on the cake of this wonderful lunch, were some beautiful mignardise of macarons, a coffee financier, lemon mignon, chocolate truffles and vanilla marshmallows. Every mignardise was delicious. If guests were not full after their dessert, they were now. We were so full we could barely finish our mignardise, but because they were so amazing we couldn’t stop eating them.
The macaron was the smallest bite of a crisp, airy pillowy delight. The coffee financier was very bold and strong. The lemon mignon was a burst of sweet citrus with a chocolate sable and meringue on top. The chocolate truffles melted in our mouths and was my favorite of all the mignardise. Very decadent and smooth ganache. The marshmallows were a surprising hit for me. They helped balance the rich chocolate truffles and when I combined them it ws magical.
As our lunch progressed every entree was better than the last. Dessert being the one to steal the show entirely. Like the entrees the desserts mirrored its precedents with several different textures and difficult techniques. The team at Le Jules Verne did an outstanding job all afternoon from start to finish, from front of the house to back of the house. A well deserved round of applause.
Take Away Madeleine
Thought we were finished eating? Wrong! As we exited to go to the viewing deck the hostess gifted us with fresh madeleines packaged in a Le Jules Verne bag. We wanted to savor the madeleines to prolong our experience at Le Jules Verne and ended up enjoying them later that evening in our hotel room. Well worth the wait. Best madeleines I have ever had – I loved them so much Adam let me have two!
After we finished our meal we went to Le Jules Verne’s private entrance to the viewing deck (yes, they even have their own private entrance) to see the beautiful city of Paris. The views at the deck were beyond amazing – everywhere we looked we were amazed at Paris’ beauty. We took our time enjoying the scenery and the moment, walking off our lunch didn’t hurt either.
I couldn’t have thought of a better way to kick off our European adventure or our time in Paris. A bucket list restaurant checked off and a dining experience we will never forget.
Merci Le Jules Verne!
Le Jules Verne
Eiffel Tower, 2nd floor
Avenue Gustave Eiffel
75007 Paris, France
+33 (0)1 45 55 61 44
Lunch: Daily 12:15 – 1:30 pm
Dinner: Daily 7 pm – 9:30 pm
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