It wasn’t till 1950 when the Surrealist painter Salvador Dali made Le Meurice his Parisian home. For more than 30 years Dali takes up residence once a year for a month at the former royal suite of Alphonse XIII. Today Le Meurice pays homage to this audacious and eccentric visionary artist through recreating his aesthetic world vision in the hotel. Especially the restaurant Le Dali redesigned by Philippe Starck in 2007 who gave that special Dalinian touch to the overall decoration. Soft lightning surrounded by mirrors enhanced with furniture echoing his surreal vision of aestheticism can be seen through the polished brass Leda chair, the unique shoes tables alongside Muletas lamp shades. An afternoon tea at Le Dali is certainly not to be missed – relax in a swan or winged armchair while enjoying a conversation with Dali in an intimate setting.
If Dali’s theatrical surrealism is a feast for the eyes, Cédric Grolet head pâtissier of Meurice by Alain Ducasse offers some of his most amazing palette of delectable cakes so very creatively concoctioned. There is a nice selection of tea, hot chocolate or champagne that comes with a variety of delicious freshly baked scones with jams and clotted cream as well as a delicious array of sweet pastries to choose from, caroline caramel (small yummy caramel eclair) chocolate fondant to fruit cakes, served on a special tiered glass tray. Prepared according to the seasons Cedric’s autumnal colours is certainly of the most memorable and inventive Haut Pâtisserie I have ever tasted.
Sweet and salty the inseparable twins and here comes salty the irresistible finger sandwiches filled with an array of mouthwatering ingredients – smoked salmon, cheese, foie gras among others …
The reinvention of France most classic pastries is where this young talented pastry chef excels. With his “Noisette” cake I am lured into the jungle of golden chocolates – thin wafer chocolate shell filled with dark chocolate nuggets dipped in hazelnut mousse overflowing in nutty caramel. It does give you the impression of a walnut when cut in half – an absolute delight !
I just love his creamy salted butter caramel eclair delicately decorated with caramel sprinkles … the sweet nutty creamy caramel taste made to perfection.
The famous Saint Honoré, Cedric’s style is made with puff pastry deliciously orchestrated with fresh figs dipped in wine placed on flaky pastry and topped with whipped cream – another of his surrealistic creation to try out …
And his lemon tart is definitely one of the best I have ever tried …
Not forgetting the classic Paris Brest choux pastry redesigned with top speed to exotic destination – a puff pastry with praline flavoured cream filling crowned with finely grilled shredded coconut.
Cedric’s journey into the world of Haut Pâtisserie will not be completed without the making of the Christmas log – now that end of the year is approaching and so time for an epicurean feast. Here he is holding his wonderful Christmas log in the form of melting clock in honour of the Surrealist artist. This delectable log is a chocolate sponge cake filled with caramelized pear honey wrapped around chocolate chips and buckwheat covered with smoke flavoured chocolate. His creation inspired by Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” has received approval from Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali.
Restaurant Le Dali
228 rue de Rivoli
Tea Time hours: 3.30pm to 6pm
Tel: 01 44 58 10 44
Categories: Dali Le Meurice