Mirroring the hotbed of cultural fusion that represents its population, the cuisine of Monte-Carlo is a tantalising blend of French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai influences. Combine that with Mediterranean inspirations derived from centuries of trade and cultural exchange, and the Principality currently offers some of the best fresh local seafood, meats and fine wines to be found the world over. Here, we take a look at ten of the best restaurants located throughout Monaco’s glamorous avenues.
1. Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse a l’Hotel de Paris
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris
Imbued with a French-Mediterranean theme, the food at Le Louis XV is emblematic of the Riviera itself, in a setting that is the epitome of fine dining. Created by chefs Dominique Lory and Alain Ducasse, the menu is modern and authentic, with the precision of the cooking unmissable in their fresh juices, flavourful broths, and spices. While the food and prestigious wine list are a thrill in their own right, the hand-made glass chandelier and imposing marble pillars provide an added wow factor in this stunning establishment.
2. Restaurant Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo
Tucked away within the Hotel Metropole lies a gourmet palace created by the trusted hands of Joël Robuchon. Inaugurated in July 2004, the restaurant marked the Frenchman’s first venture in the Principality, on a stage designed by Jacques Garcia. In typical Robuchon style, the open kitchen offers guests the chance to enjoy watching the masters at work, at present led by Head Chef Christophe Cussac, as they whip up an array of sophisticated, Mediterranean delights.
3. Blue Bay
Inspired by his origins and travels, Marcel Ravin creates dishes at the Blue Bay where barbajuan, caviar, manioc and truffle all dance together harmoniously on the same plate. Originally from the French West Indies, Ravin’s creative execution of Caribbean-infused cuisine has already earned the restaurant a prestigious Michelin star. Sample one of Ravin’s sweet dainties, or for the intrepid among you, dive right into the innovative chef’s five-course Escapade menu.
4. Maya Bay
A harmonious blend of Thai and Japanese food under one roof, the stunning Maya Bay restaurant is a must-visit if you’re in the Principality. From the stunning red and black decor, to the best mojitos in town, Maya Bay oozes Riviera glamour. Overseeing proceedings in the kitchen is talented young Frenchman, Christophe Dupuy, whose fresh Asian specialities keep the local clientele returning time and again. If sushi and steamed dumplings aren’t your thing, check out the restaurant’s new Moroccan venture – Mayakech – which promises to introduce you to a whole new world of eastern spices and flavours.
5. Avenue 31
Located at 31 avenue Princesse Grace, the aptly named Avenue 31 promises a tantalising selection of modern Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. The cosy but distinctly modern interior provides an elegant setting to enjoy the fruits of passionate Italian chef, Simon Marangoni‘s labour, which uses only the freshest seasonal ingredients. Judging by the regular volume of diners, the restaurant’s open-air section is a fabulous spot to enjoy a little al-fresco dining now the summer is firmly on its way.
6. Le Vistamar
Driven by the ethos of “one fish, one vegetable, once cooked”, Le Vistamar‘s michelin-starred menu is a popular addition to Monaco’s thriving restaurant scene. From the kitchen, head chef Joël Garault orchestrates a symphony of the freshest seafood and vegetables, whilst promoting simple , honest cooking at it’s finest. Dine in style amidst a decor designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, or grab a seat on the restaurant’s spectacular terrace to catch unforgettable views of the Principality’s port and world famous rock.
7. Buddha Bar
Offering a selection of Pacific Rim cuisine dishes, chef Gian Franco Brugaletta’s menu at Buddha Bar sees the eastern flavours of China, Japan and Thailand combine masterfully with the zest of the West. Under the watchful eyes of the traditional giant buddha, the innovative cooking is delivered in a fun “family style” concept, with large dishes designed to be shared among guests. In addition to the sumptuous food on offer, the stunning 7-metre high ceilings of this former 20th century concert hall convey a majestic feel tall who dine in it.
8. Restaurant Yoshi
Established in 2008, YOSHI, the first Joël Robuchon Japanese restaurant in the world, soon made its mark in Monte-Carlo, picking up a Michelin star in a matter of months. Driven by Japanese chef Takéo Yamazaki, the eastern-inspired menu serves up Maki, Sushi and Sashimi as well as ‘à La Carte’ dishes such as Zeitaku Wakame (seafood jelly). The futuristic interior is equally as stunning, employing noble materials such as silk and ebony wood, to create a zen-like atmosphere while managing to retain the elegance of the Hotel Métropole Monte-Carlo.
9. Il Terrazzino
Immerse yourself in Neapolitan culture with a trip to Raffaele Russo‘s Il Terrazino. Inspired by his native southern Italy, Russo’s menu promises to take you on an adventure you won’t forget. With dishes such as octopus salad andpeasant-cooked pork; your taste buds will be tantalised by an array of Naples’ finest delicacies. A firm favourite with locals, the restaurant is famed for its epic antipasti buffet, while the extensive tea list has to be seen to be believed. Adorned with twinkling fairy lights and mural-laden walls, Il Terrazino is a down to earth gem in often ostentatious surroundings.
10. L’Horizon Deck
Blessed with stunning 360° views over the Principality, the Fairmont’s L’Horizon Deck is certainly the place to see and be seen. Choose from over 40 varieties of the world’s finest bubbles at the restaurant’s champagne bar, before indulging your senses in a feast of Mediterranean-inspired delicacies such as bouillabaisse and salmon a la plancha, courtesy of chef Philippe Joannes. Booking is highly recommended at this ever-popular haunt.