Côté Jardin, Monte Carlo

February 1, 2010

It is amazing to discover a bargain in the heart of the most expensive, prestigious, luxurious hotel in Monte Carlo, but that is what Renate, Linda and I found on January 24, 2010, after a concert at the Salle Garnier in the Casino. We went across the street for Sunday lunch at Côté Jardin in the Hôtel de Paris. This restaurant, which complements the hotel’s Louis XV, The Grill on the roof and the Salle Empire for big events, is only open for lunch.
This was the view from our table after we sat down.  It was quiet, but the room became quite noisy when it filled up. In nice weather tables are on the terrace outside the doors on the left. 

Every day there is a 49 € menu with buffets for starters and desserts. (There is a note that the price has been reduced with the TVA reduction.) The menu offers four choices for the main course including a plat du jour; on Sundays this is a “Sunday Carving,” which was roast chicken when we were there. It is in the big silver roast trolley you can see in the center of the photo above. I was hoping it would be wheeled around with the carving at the table, but it stayed put near the buffet tables. There are also seven à la carte selections, which are less of a bargain.

We ordered glasses of 2006 “La Lereine” La Chablisienne Chablis as apéritif. It was flinty and good. We also ordered a bottle of 2007 Domaine Chanson 1er Cru Savigny-Dominode, named after the latin “Dominus”, “Vineyard of the Lord” an indication that this area was formerly owned by the Lord of Savigny.
 
The buffet for starters had the usual suspects: smoked fish, charcuterie, a galantine, grilled vegetables, oysters and several hot items in covered serving dishes.  
 

Renate’s plate:
 
Linda’s plate:
 
My plate:

The vol-au-vent had scambled eggs with salmon. The other two warm dishes (on the right) were pizza squares and a vegetable beignet. 
 
For their main course the ladies ordered the Côte et noisette d’agneau poêlées à la sarriette, moussaka de légumes.

The round cake was strips of eggplant filled with diced ratatouille.
 

 

I had the plat du jour.

The chicken was unadorned. The potato round was classic gratin dauphinois. 
 
 
The dessert buffet also had what one would expect.
Renate’s dessert:
 

Linda’s dessert:

An apple tart in flaky pastry.
 
My dessert:

Apricot/pistachio tart, crème caramel, a chocolate/coffe eclair, fruit on a vanilla cream.
 
 
Mignardises were offered at the end.
 
 
The meal was somewhat extraordinary for its consistency:  classic, stereotyped dishes with no imagination or variations from the archetype. They were very well done with good ingredients. Perhaps Côté Jardin is the ultimate comfort food experience. The service was impeccable, of course. The clientèle was more varied than you might expect except for the common denominator that they didn’t really need to seek out a bargain. There were quite a few children being indoctrinated into the Sunday Lunch ritual. It was fine for us for the occasion and helped Linda and me readjust after our last restaurant meal at Pierre Gagnaire.

The website for the restaurant:
 http://www.hoteldeparismontecarlo.com/Le-cote-jardin.html

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