In Monaco there’s no shortage of Michelin starred restaurants, with the world’s most famous chefs opening culinary outfits on almost every sparkling street corner, but it’s no longer just about the name or number, fresh; locally sourced ingredients are the destination’s latest trend. We pick the best restaurants for elegant supper soirees and glam parties during the Monaco Grand Prix.
Commonly regarded as Monte Carlo’s finest of fine dining, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant proudly sits on the S.Pellegrino’s list of the World’s Best 100 Restaurants with three sparkling Michelin stars. It’s suitably grand with chandeliers, rich fabrics and elaborate bouquets of flowers on every table, making it the ideal setting for a special occasion. The wine cellar is legendary with over 600,000 bottles, the service impeccable and the food flawless. The waiters’ recommendations are always spot on, but order the locally caught fish cooked with tomatoes and olives from Nice and you can’t go far wrong.
Join the VIP ranks at the favorite F1 party spot in town – the Amber Lounge. Throughout the weekend this glitzy spot boasts spectacular events – from charity auctions to a fashion walk featuring the drivers, trackside action and spectacular after parties. Their Saturday night event is always popular with the It crowd, boasting free flowing champagne and world class superstar DJ’s. The Paddock Club teams up with Amber Lounge to offer five star packages for gourmet food, glorious wine, and exclusive pit lane tours.
A relatively new venue on these shores, Elsa has been named the leading organic restaurant by Ecocert for its Riviera inspired gourmet menu of seasonal ingredients sourced exclusively from local producers. The olive oil and freshly baked bread is a triumph alone, though the fish dishes tend to be the stars of the menu. Expect giant langoustines, light flavoursome carpaccio and fresh herbs. Named after the writer and high-scoiety socialite, Elsa Maxwell who was famed for throwing the wildest parties at Monte Carlo Beach, the restaurant’s atmosphere is lively and casual with the some of best sea views around.
From noon until midnight, Sunset is the pinnacle of the sophisticated party scene in the heart of Monaco. A tight music schedule keeps well heeled patrons dancing beneath the stars and the beachfront location ensures cool breezes and barefoot luxury in this contemporary space. Stylish dining, elegant aperitifs, and around the clock cocktails provide the ultimate mise en scene for your Grand Prix experience.
Le Vistamar’s specialty is seafood served on a beautiful terrace overlooking the sparkling sea from which your meal was plucked, the port of Monaco and the famous Rock. Alongside the superb a la carte menu featuring the likes of salt fish cod and Royale seabream (the principle here is simplicity: “one fish, one vegetable, once cooked”), there are set and taster menus, which culminate in a delicate soufflé of varying flavours. If you’re a larger party, the secluded private dining room, Salon Prive can be booked for up to 12 guests.
Al fresco dining on a warm evening at Brasserie Restaurant terrace, which overlooks the Princess Grace rose garden is one of the most romantic experiences in Monaco. The menu mixes French Provencal dishes with old Italian recipes and the cellar is well stocked with fine champagne for those looking to celebrate. The vibe at this hotel is calm and easy, making it the perfect place to unwind after a busy day at the Yacht Show.
Chef Marcel Ravin is renowned for his creative Caribbean and Mediterranean fusions that earned Blue Bay a Michelin star in 2015. There’s a terrace with panoramic views here too, but for a different dining experience pick a table next to the open kitchen to watch the chefs at work. There’s a great brunch held between 12.30 and 2.30 every Sunday, a choice of two set menus varying from 4 to 5 dishes and a full vegetarian and gluten free menu. If you’re feeling especially hungry order the roasted saddle of lamb served in banana leaf with madras curry, olives and aubergines.
With a staggering 26 Michelin awards to his name, Joel Robouchon stands as the most “starred” chef in the world. His restaurant at Hotel Metropole accounts for two of the stars with a mouth-watering menu of Mediterranean dishes that are prepared before the hungry eyes of guests in the open Teppanyaki-style kitchen. The emphasis here is on the produce with the choice of a sophisticated vegetarian menu, elaborate discovery menu and lighter lunch selection.
The first Joel Robouchon Japanese restaurant in the world, Yoshi offers modern, healthy cuisine in cool, contemporary dining room which opens out onto a Japanese style garden, designed by the French architect Didier Gomez. Order from Le Bento menu at lunch if you’re pushed for time – the starter, main and dessert of choice are served together in an elegant black lacquered box. Or else order fresh maki straight from the sushi bar counter.
Located on the 6th floor of Port Palace, La Marée’s suspended views of the super yachts in the harbor are un-paralleled. The menu is inventive, inspired by the sun and sea of the Mediterranean, and changes according to the season whilst the interiors are bright and airy. The best seats in the house are undoubtedly on the terrace, if the sun is shining or equally on a warm night under the stars.
New head chef, Patrick Laine has reimagined the menu at Alain Ducasse’s Tuscan-inspired Italian restaurant to breath new life into classic dishes. The theme here is communal dining with an antipasti buffet and pasta bar. There’s a great selection of freshly baked pizzas and desserts too. Order ice cream or sorbet from the carrettino dei gelati, an old fashioned bicycle that pushes a red ice cream cooler round the restaurant decorated with silver bells, or a Cassata Siciliana (a traditional type of sponge cake from Sicily) to share.
This authentic brasserie, inspired by the great Parisian brasseries of the Belle Époque, lacks the pretentiousness of some of the other smart restaurants on the port, but still attracts a glamorous crowd of diners. It’s always busy for lunch or dinner, especially with families as there’s a great kids menu. Expect enormous platters of seafood and an expansive seasonal menu that’s particularly strong on the desserts. The Crepe Suzette here is probably the best you’ll find; the light pancakes come smothered in butter, topped with orange juice and Grand Marnier.