The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, LONDON, W1K 1QA
From Las Vegas to Qatar, Monsieur Ducasse's name is synonymous with glamorous locations and modern French cooking. But the man is an innovator, too, whose almost academic passion for classical French cuisine and creative mind have resulted in an empire that spans the globe. What better location for his main London outpost than the Dorchester? The hotel, which has hosted the country's great and good since the 1930s, has a host of dining possibilities, but the shining star carries the name of Alain Ducasse. The dining room is positively serene and stylish enough without leaving a lasting impression, but there's plenty of space between the impeccably set tables. The discreet service suits the mood of the place; on hand precisely when you need them. Jocelyn Herland is the man charged with delivering the Ducasse-inspired repertoire via the seasonally-changing, bi-lingual carte, tasting and set lunch menus, while, if you're lucky enough to arrive in season, there might be one dedicated to black truffles. Begin with an amuse-bouche of three textures of salsify (foam, braised and creamed), and five different breads that showcase the baking skills in the kitchen. The importance of temperature is shown to good effect in a preserved duck foie gras starter, where maximum flavour is achieved, and the accompanying white and black grapes provide just the right amount of acidity and sweetness. A perfectly cooked piece of halibut stars in a main course, with winkles, cockles and razor clams cooked marinière style, with two sauces, one of which is poured by the waiter at the table. First-rate produce figures all the way through, such as a rib and belly of Denbighshire pork (served with aubergine and vrai jus), and into desserts such as one with chocolate brought over from Paris and made into a praline and creamy number with flavour notes from sweet to bitter. An assortment of French cheeses arrives in perfect condition with country bread and condiments, but there's also the option of Colston Bassett Stilton if you want to keep to this side of the Channel. The wine list is a heavyweight contender by any standards, with more than 1000 bins to choose from and a team of sommeliers on hand to guide you through the maze.
Tel: 020 7629 8866
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 1-7 Jan, 3-6 Apr, 9 Aug-1 Sep, 26-30 Dec
Days closed for lunch: Sat
Cooking type: Contemporary, Modern French
Chef: Jocelyn Herland, Angelo Ercolano, Jean Philippe Blondet
Number of seats: 82
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 10 yrs.
3 Course lunch from: £60.00
3 Course dinner from: £95.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.