Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Joël Robuchon - Monte Carlo

Saving the Best for Last...
.....the best laugh, that is.  Ok, rewind a few days and picture me packing a bag for our trip to Nice that included a Frenchie outfit: collared shirt, zip up sweater, sport jacket and dress shoes.  Dodo was confused: "You never pack any nice clothes."  Well, we might go to Monaco, I explained, it's a nine outta ten on the worldwide schwank scale.  "How do you know" she said, more a statement than a question.  Fast-forward two days: I carefully donned my special outfit and said "Ok, let's got to Monaco."  She slipped into some raggedy jeans and sneakers.  Feigning exaggerated high-steps, she said "these are my loose jeans, the ones I can take big giant steps in, see?"  I tried to talk her out of it but she wouldn't budge.
After the 30 minute bus ride from Nice and a short walk around, it still didn't hit her, not even with Porsches and Lamborghinis whizzing by.  This place is schwank with a capital $.  We learned that there was a Robuchon restaurant close by and in a "what the hell" moment, we walked over.  The restaurant is located inside the castle-like Metropole hotel.  I felt like someone had mistakenly let me inside a secret kingdom but I confidently strolled down the driveway like I was a billionaire.  That is, until Dodo ran a few feet ahead of me, whirred around and posed, making a peace sign next to her face like a Japanese teenager and yelled "Take my photo, Babe!"
About halfway through her appetizer, an interpretation of pasta carbonara consisting of a single poached egg, pancetta, pecorino foam and small pasta grains shown in the first photo, Dodo looked up, spoon in air, at the posh dining room.  We were the youngest people there by far, to our right were three old guys who looked like tanned crocodiles in three piece suits.  A crooked smile came to her face.  "Babe, it just dawned on me - I am completely underdressed, I look like a bum."  I started to giggle and I couldn't stop.  She looked so uncomfortable.  "Now I get it, that's why you're so dressed up!"  I was snickering throughout the entire meal and teasing her every chance I got.
The laughs weren't just at the Dodo's expense, the meal was pretty funny too.  I don't have much luck with these fancy places, the prices are absurd and the food never delivers.  Robuchon was no exception, especially when I thought I ordered a flank steak with fries but a steak tartare arrived.  I took it in stride, the whole thing had turned into a big joke.  I was choking back the laughter and the waiters didn't know what to do.
Dodo ordered the roasted chicken with the "famous mashed potatoes."  When you put the word "famous" on something, it better be good.  The chicken was moist and juicy but no better than the ones you can get on the street in Paris for less than 10 Euros.  The potatoes were simply good, not oustanding in any way.
We were having the 47 Euro fixed-price lunch and it might have been worth it if we could've wheeled the bread cart with us on the way out.  The bread cart was pretty cool.  So, what are you paying for?  The name, the location.  Oh, and it was fun to watch the waiters run over from time to time to scoop out some famous mashed or top off our water.
Dodo kept looking at each freshly arrived diner and blushing anew.  I was thankful to have something to laugh at, it kept my mind off being suckered once again into a overpriced meal. By the time the dessert cart arrived I'd completely lost interest. Dodo "sampled" three ordinary desserts for the low, low price of an extra 18 Euros. Rip off.
To get more out of the experience we retreated to the private deck after the meal and recapped.  The food was good, not memorable or impressive.  We arrived at 5 out of 10 for the food but knocked it down to 4 based on the price.  However, for laughs, it was a 10 (at least for me.)
4 Avenue de la Madone
Monte Carlo, Monaco

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  1. What so funny???? Mean! And I wish to put it on record that you did NOT try to talk me out of my bum attire :(

    Food was really not all too impressive. The starter was good, I enjoyed the butter and the mash worked for me.

    Babe... you said u liked the focaccia bread - how come no credit?

  2. I'm surprised that you guys get let in at such a (s)wank place with Dodo wearing just jeans and t-shirt!

    We tried to do that at Chantecler in Nice and they wouldn't let us through. They were quite polite about it though.

    Gorilla wrote all about it in his blog.


  3. Sorry it's this post instead.


  4. @Dodo - you were determined to not take my advice. Why would I, a bum, dress all nice? Hellll-ohhhhhhh?

  5. @Cewek - I was dressed like a Russian oligarch, so they let me bring in my riff-raff girlfriend, I guess.

  6. This is a great post; I thoroughly enjoyed every detail.

    That steak tartare looks like a hamburger patty.

  7. @Jae_Em - thanks, glad you enjoyed it. The steak tartare looked exactly like that to me - a raw hamburger. Tasted good though.