Dinner and a Cruise—Ducasse Style
A Most Memorable Meal on the Seine
Last year, the world’s most Michelin-starred Chef opened a floating restaurant on the Seine on the first 100% electric restaurant boat in Paris. Not only does this mean it’s eco-friendly; it’s also smooth sailing sans engine vibration or noisy motor. That affords you the opportunity to give yourself fully to in the awesome sights and stellar cuisine from one of the world’s most celebrated chefs.
The restaurant can accommodate up to 200 people, and each meal lasts about two hours as the ship languidly makes its way up and down the Seine past the Eiffel Tower and several other famous landmarks, including the Notre Dame cathedral. It’s a meal you won’t soon forget.
The ship itself is eye-catching. With the bow identical to the stern, the vessel, all steel and glass, imagined by naval architect Gérard Ronzatti, looks like a sleek oblong flying saucer that just alighted on the water. Every detail on the boat has been thought through and crafted by a crew of top-notch artisans. The embroidered tablecloths are inspired by Renaissance-style lace; the tableware calls to mind transatlantic ships of the past; and the wine glasses, imagined by art director Pierre Tachon, feature short stems for stability but an elegant twisted style.
Lunch and dinner, prepared by head chef Francis Fauvel and his 36 kitchen mates, feature three- to five-course menus. Sea bream gravlax or guinea hen and duck foie gras pressé, perhaps? Or maybe you’re more in the mood for line-caught pollock with shellfish broth? The fish hails mostly from Brittany, the heritage meat comes from Burgundy, and the vegetables from Provence or the Loire Valley. The wine list offers more than 100 different selections from the best French vineyards.
Should you prefer a snack to a full meal . . . When the boat is docked at Quai Debilly across from the Eiffel Tower after 4:00 PM, you can enjoy a glass of Champagne or white wine with a few sweet or savory bites on the rooftop.
THE ROYAL TREATMENT
Can’t get enough of Ducasse? There’s also Ducasse au Château de Versailles: At the King’s Table. This dinner reinvents the royal grandeur of the King’s meal. From the moment the Great Maître d’hôtel makes his entrance and summons you to follow him, you’ll be swept up in the ceremonial splendor and transported back into time. The meal that follows is “à la française,” the menu inspired by the court with contemporary flavors. No detail is overlooked; even the tableware is the Ancient Royal Manufacture of Limoges (re-edited by Bernardaud). The waiters don tailormade outfits inspired by the 18th century and move about in balletic fashion. The pomp and circumstance—and the meal—make for a magical night.