Here we go, it’s Valentine’s Day…


…and you still don’t know what to offer? In Paris, it would be an easy task. Here, the d-day of all flower merchants is called St. Valentin and all restaurants offer romantic yet shockingly overpriced dinner specials – but the king of greed is omnichef Alain Ducasse. He invites you to his Jules Vernes on the second floor of the Eiffel tower.

Paris on a plate: Ducasse meets Eiffel tower (courtesy The Times).

Tonight, up there, you could enjoy a menu composed for Russian oligarchs, Dubai sheiks and nouveau riche Chinese tycoons. For 540 Euros (that’s almost 740 US dollars) per person you’ll be served

  • Araignée de mèr, crème légère au chou fleur (sea spider crab, light cauliflower cream)
  • Blanc de daurade mariné, caviar de France, garniture mimosa (marinated gilt-head bream, domestic caviar, mimosa garnish)
  • Endives de pleine terre, jambon/truffe/Comté (roasted chicory, ham/truffle/Comté)
  • Turbot aux asperges vertes de Provence, sabayon de Champagne (Pan-seared turbot with green asparagus from Provence, Champagne zabaglione)
  • Poulette de Bresse facon demi-deuil, légumes en beaux morceaux (Bresse poultry in half mourning style, seasonal vegetables)
  • Brie fermier de Meaux truffé (Truffled farm-made “Meaux” brie)
  • Douceur fraise des bois et rose, pamplemousse en amertume (wild strawberry/rose and bitter grapefruit sweetness)
  • Palet croustillant chocolat et orange sanguine (chocolat and blood orange “palet”)

The wines are, amongst others, a white Corton-Charlemagne from Burgundy and a ruby red Saint-Estèphe from Bordeaux, the sweets are served with a Sauternes (what else?). Well, I leave it with that. Let me just add that I’ve rarely seen such a pretentious menu. It’s a caricature of what French cuisine used to be. It’s for people, actually, who don’t know food.

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