Have been lurking here on&off for a few years, finding so much good advice when planning trips, and finally managed to sign in and contribute to the shared knowledge in here :-)
Two years ago we had the lunch of our lives at Ledoyen! The famous spaghetti (with shellfish then), and the most wonderful pigeon. Excellent service and decent prices (relatively speaking :-)
We decided there and then to return for dinner next time in Paris!
So, when planning our recent trip to Paris, we discovered quite a number of reviews stating that Ledoyen was becoming "the new L'Ambrosie" in regard to the service, treating non-regulars rather coldly. Happily, these reviews did not scare us away, and we would like to share our recent experience.
Ledoyen is not easy to find online, but we used the e-mail adress from the Michelin guide, and had no problems reserving our table. The e-mail from Ledoyen also provided the link to a web site I have not been able to find trough Google: http://commercial.groupeepicure.com/h...
We were warmly welcomed, and both waiter and sommelier gave excellent advice when we decided on the menu Decouverte with wines by the glass. Since we are not too keen on sweetbreads, they suggested pigeon instead, which turned out to be very good. Wine pairings were perfect all through the meal
The highlights of the meal were the Langoustines, the Turbot and the Pamplemousse dessert.
The brilliance of the langoustines lies in the great combination of "au naturel" and the more prepared, crunchy, Asian-inspired version. The turbot was perfectly cooked, wonderfully accompanied by the truffle and potatoes. It was paired with an excellent Mersault, a perfect choice by the sommelier! The stacked pamplemousse dessert have been debated, many seem to dislike the crisp "croquant", but we both loved the different textures and the bitter, sour and sweet flavours of this fun dessert.
Cheese was wonderful, and the sommelier stayed in the background, selecting wines as we were choosing cheese, and presented us with 3 glasses, one to accompany each cheese (and excellently!).
We were unable to finish the lovely Breton pastries at the end of the meal. Our waiter then told us "we are not quite up to American standards yet, regarding ze doggie bag, but we will surprise you" He later returned, laughing, and presented us with a simple tinfoil-wrapped package "for breakfast". So much for their snobbish reputation!
The sommelier also showed his fun side during the night, especially when I was in doubt about having something strong with my coffee. He jokingly convinced me to have a Chartreuse, reassuring me that it would be perfectly allright if I started singing.
When we left our waiter walked us outside, and made sure the valet got us in the right taxi.
Our bill totaled 757 Euros for the two of us, which is 450 Euros less than our dinner at Guy Savoy the same week. And we did not try to save on anything, had champagne and all.
We can wholeheartedley recommend Ledoyen over any starred restaurant we have been to in the last 3 years, primarily for wonderful food, but also for knowledgable, professional and warm service.