The Peninsula Paris
Peninsula hotels are guaranteed to be refined and upscale, and the Paris location is no exception. You’ll know it from the moment you walk into the hotel’s lobby, a meticulously restored Belle Époque ballroom with huge arched windows, a high ceiling, and plenty of gold leaf. The majority of this ballroom is today the hotel’s premiere restaurant, Le Lobby, and we had the opportunity to dine there recently at the invitation of the restaurant.
The site of the hotel’s lavish brunch and opulent afternoon tea is also a smart idea for dinner. It’s a popular spot for casual-dressed hotel guests and their families to enjoy bistro fare like club sandwiches, croque-monsieurs, and burgers, but there’s also a fine dining menu for those looking to splurge a bit. (It was a little odd to see people in jeans and hoodies eating burgers in what’s ostensibly a fine-dining restaurant, but so be it.) The lighting in the room itself was also quite bright, most likely because it's also a part of the hotel's main entrance.
Chef Laurent Poitevin’s menu features appetizers including marinated veal carpaccio with zucchini and aged goat cheese, blue lobster salad with gem lettuce and citrus, and crab stuffed into its own shell with fennel remoulade, which was generously portioned and very good. Seafood options include seared swordfish with pressed black olives, pollock with apricots and mushrooms, seabass with seaweed butter, and king prawns with spelt and Qatari spices (Qatari influence makes a few appearances on the menu). Meat entrées included a perfectly cooked filet of beef with potatoes and marrow, a free-range Landes chicken breast with beef cecina and caramelized onion ravioli, and Mediterranean vegetables stuffed with lamb shoulder. The chicken was juicy and flavorful with a browned crispy skin and a rich jus, and the ravioli was a welcome surprise. There’s also a nice selection of cheeses and desserts. Everything we sampled was cooked perfectly and with attention to detail, using creative and original recipes.
Le Lobby isn’t just a pleasant surprise for guests of the Peninsula to discover, it’s also an opulent and upscale place to enjoy everything from a club sandwich to a filet mignon. And the next time we’re in Paris, we’ll be back for the Sunday brunch.