October 3, 2021
The best restaurants in the world. Experience the flavours of Yannick Alléno’s restaurant at Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris.
The best restaurants in the world are places where the senses experience something unique. Everything has to be right here – the perfect flavours, the interior design, the surroundings and the experience of a special time itself. Yannick Alléno’s restaurant at Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris is awarded three Michelin stars for a reason, and the guidebook reads: “This Parisian institution, housed in an elegant pavilion in the gardens of the Champs – Élysées, has been taken over by Yannick Alléno, who has begun writing a new chapter in its history. The chef creates a tour de force, immediately making his mark. He masterfully gives haute cuisine a new face.”
Since October 7, 2019, on the ground floor of Pavillon Ledoyen, Yannick Alléno has opened a new restaurant that boasts a shaded and floral terrace and extends into the greenery as far as Place de la Concorde. It has its own entrance, independent from the entrance of the “3 star MICHELIN France 2019” restaurant – Alléno Paris – situated upstairs in the Pavillon, and from L’Abysse, a sushi bar that received a Michelin star in 2019.
This new restaurant, called Pavyllon, is in a space that was once Le Cercle, a brasserie that closed in 2000 because it was “less profitable than banquets and receptions” according to the previous license holder. This third culinary offer is the second step in the modernisation programme that Yannick Alléno began as soon as he was awarded the license from the City of Paris. His aim today is to offer a form of holiday resort on the Champs-Elysées to a client base seeking cuisine where the ordinary is excellent and the excellent appears familiar.
Gastronymy at the bar
The configuration of Pavyllon has a dual purpose. On fine days, customers who want to enjoy nature can sit on the terrace, surrounded by hedges. Inside, the tables are arranged alongside the large patio doors to offer a direct view of the garden. Around 30 seats are installed at an immense central bar facing the cooks, to allow customers to watch the dishes being prepared, like a participatory theatre. When creating his Ateliers, in a quest for transparency and simplicity, wanting to move away from the ceremonial procedures inherent to traditional restaurants, Joël Robuchon was inspired by the Japanese teppanyaki concept, which had been introduced in the United States post-1945. At Pavyllon, the bar (15 metres long by 95 cm wide) offers a clear view of the open kitchen, revealing to guests the activities of the brigade as they carry out “the grand transformation.” The kitchen has been designed in the smallest detail to allow the chefs to present a real show for every service. It will have a very powerful extraction system to avoid disturbing customers as they eat.
“The language of truth is simple”, said Boileau. For Yannick Alléno, “in cuisine, it’s simply the best.” In other words, the heritage of French cuisine magnified by modern knowledge and techniques at the service of pure taste: cold extraction, fermentation and maturation. His signature.
Gastronomy at the bar 2 rom the large bar, food fans have front row seats to observe the precise gestures that combine French influence and other culinary traditions: the lightness of the vegetable tempuras, served as an accompaniment to many dishes, steam cooking or teppanyaki (metallic plate), or a few concoctions from Nordic and Italian cuisine. This open style of cooking, which is generous and refined, encourages customers to taste small portions of creative preparations:
• Cold such as a chaud froid de sole contisé de truffe noire, minéralité de céleri et salinité de coquillages, pistaches (delicate sole served cold inserted with black truffle)
• Hot: onctueux soufflé au fromage à la vapeur, foie gras croquant, sauce Albuféra, truffe blanche d’Alba (steam-cooked cheese soufflé, crunchy foie gras, Albuféra sauce, Alba white truffle)
• Vegetables: Epinards monstrueux de Viroflay, en soupe à la scamorza, râpée de noix de muscade brûlée (Viroflay spinach, scamorza soup, with grated and burnt nutmeg)
• Ravioli and pasta have pride of place: pumpkin tortelli, melted butter and Parmesan in homage to Nadia and Giovanni Santini
• Fish and meat, accompanied with vegetable tempuras: Feuille à feuille de barbue, braisée à la vapeur, lait fermenté et condiments (steam-braised catfish , fermented milk and condiments); Wagyu grade 4, en vrai Strogonoff, pailles de pommes de terre fleurées au paprika ; Boudin noir et côtes de cochon de lait, à la plancha, salade d’herbe folle (in a Stroganoff, potato straws dusted with paprika; black pudding and suckling pig ribs, grass salad)
• The tasty desserts include, coffee iced parfait, salty pistachio cream, “boudoir” biscuit with raspberries and iced milk mousse. All treats are allowed. It is also possible to be tempted by two tasting menus in order to discover this menu with a thousand flavours. Open seven days a week, in the contemporary space of a historical place, Pavyllon has been created by Yannick Alléno to share his modern vision of conviviality.
An exceptional setting signed Chahan Minassian
Yannick Alléno called on the interior designer Chahan Minassian, who has designed many of the Hôtel Crillon’s spaces and numerous residences worldwide. He favours a luxurious and refined style, paying careful attention to fabrics and textures. A relationship of trust developed between the chef and the interior designer right from their very first meeting. “Our approach is the same, his is on the plate, mine is with space. We complement each other naturally and for this project, we worked hand-in-hand.”
Both have the same objective: delight everyone who comes to enjoy a moment at Pavyllon. Host them in a space where everything is consistent and where every detail counts. Offer them absolute comfort, arouse their senses. Chahan Minassian thus created an impressive bar in metallised wood with a bronze sheen, which continues with a set of coloured mirrors. This bar envelops the kitchen, the central element where the dishes are created. Geometric patterns of enamelled tiles are punctuated with small smoked mirrors that reflect the garden.
The seats shimmer in velvet and suede, the walls are covered in ceruse oak wood panelling, matte and shiny details contrast each other, all in mild tones of grey and green. It’s like a subtle reminder of the nature that surrounds the restaurant.
The tableware has been chosen to establish a link between the setting and the cuisine of Yannick Alléno: exclusive creations designed by the best craftsmen (Jaune de Chrome for the glazed porcelain plates, Mepra for the stainless steel cutlery with matte champagne covering, Sarah-Linda Forrer for sublime table decorations, etc.). Materials and volumes interplay. Textured surfaces mingle with precious surfaces. Tempuras are shown off in a display, the sauce holders are in mother-of-pearl. Every detail has been thought of to achieve harmony to make the tasting experience more inviting and convivial.
Taken over by Yannick Alléno in 2014, today the only person to hold a license granted by the City of Paris for 15 years, Pavillon Ledoyen is the most prestigious venue of the Parisian chef, where art has a central place, in the ChampsElysées gardens. It had become essential to renovate and install a new kitchen – the first part of which was completed in 2016- due to the high level of standard of the different restaurants which employ around 150 people and host numerous culinary events: Salon des Champagnes et des Pâtisseries Fines, Salon des Vins de la Vallée du Rhône et de la Truffe, cooking classes and receptions and banquets.
A place of memory
Pavillon Ledoyen was originally a modest inn owned by Sieur Desmazure, which opened in 1779 close to Place Louis XV (now Place de la Concorde), in the ambassadors’ district of Champs-Élysées. On4 August 1791, Desmazure rented the establishment to Antoine-Nicolas Doyen (also known as “Ledoyen”), who developed it and attracted customers from the Conventionnels (who were at Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries gardens). Later, in 1848, the architect Jacques Hittorff, responsible for developing the Champs-Élysées gardens, had it moved to its current position, near the Géorama. A century later, on 1 July 2014, Yannick Alléno, a chef with mutiple stars, was awarded the license from the City of Paris and began to renovate the establishment.
credit: Yannick Alléno