Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac at Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo is a new fine dining restaurant, which launched at the end of June 2023. Chef Cussac is no stranger to the property, having overseen the hotel’s restaurants since 2004, though his name is attached to the latest opening.
The site was closed for two years and was previously home to a restaurant overseen by the late Joël Robuchon, who trained chef Cussac. Robuchon’s legacy lives on under Cussac’s mantle, while the restaurant name nods to the original Les Ambassadeurs restaurant, which became a popular gastronomic address in the 1920s.
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The open-plan, airy dining room spills out onto a beautiful terrace, which conveniently overlooks one of the most dangerous bends of the Formula 1 racetrack as well as Monte-Carlo beyond. If you’re more fascinated by food, the open kitchen gives you the chance to watch a calmly choreographed performance of fine dining – with high stools at the chef’s table for the truly ardent fans.
In keeping with the rest of the hotel, the restaurant has been designed by French designer Jacques Garcia and features a warm colour palette of yellows and golds, creating a bright and fittingly Mediterranean ambiance. Tables are beautifully laid with burnt orange-hued bouquets alongside desert-coloured candle holders, and bespoke glass-blown bowls of varying shapes that are simply a welcome feature (the fragile vessels are not dishwasher-proof). Meanwhile, plush ochre chairs are accompanied by stools for your bag or purse.
Food and drink
The menu offers Mediterranean cuisine with a splash of adventure, with both a tasting menu and à la carte options. While intricate and creative, each dish showcases just three flavours. As put by Cussac: “My goal is that when someone tastes my cooking, they immediately understand. And remember it. That’s my ideal. Keep it simple, but above all good.” It’s a simple ethos but one that is missing from many fine dining establishments, which overcomplicate dishes with extravagant foams and so on.
Meals kick off with appetisers of pissaladière, a Nicoise specialty and wafer-thin crackers, followed by a refreshing amuse-bouche of skinless tomatoes with sardines. Before we move onto more courses, we are surprised by a beautiful glossy wooden bread trolley, created exclusively for the hotel, which brought my mouthwatering carbohydrate dreams to life.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the spinning wheels of breads – from pesto rolls to uniformly striped squid ink variations – all of which are crafted daily by the six in-house bakers. The trolley returns throughout the meal, allowing me to continue indulging between courses – not that I was hungry enough to do so.
While I won’t explain all the dishes, partly for spoiler reasons, highlights included lavish sea bream tartare wrapped in caviar to resemble cannelloni; langoustine with tempura-style French beans; and the light, silky lobster, tarragon and spinach open-style lasagna presented on a gold-framed plate.
I enjoyed every course and was once again incredibly enthusiastic when a dessert trolley wheeled in at the denouement. I spent time staring at the layers of cakes, tartes, baba rhum and ile flottante from pastry chef Patrick Mesiano before unashamedly picking three – the cinnamon tart, dulce de leche and cherry with almond cakes. Meanwhile, the chefs that had been hard at work for hours had returned the kitchen to its spick-and-span, glossy look.
Staff are welcoming and light-hearted, with smiles and jokes all round, which makes you feel at home and doesn’t match the serious stereotype you expect from a fine dining establishment.
Les Ambassadeurs by Christopher Cussac is an exquisite addition to the Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo, with an elegant dining room, delicious dishes and excellent service that offers surprises and smiles in equal measure. Knowing Cussac’s Michelin-starred résumé – he has spent more than 30 years at the head of two-Michelin-starred establishments – the restaurant seems to be a shoe-in for stardom in the future.
Dinner only from Thursday-Monday 7.30pm-11pm
The La Dégustation tasting menu costs €295 per person.
Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo, 4 Avenue de la Madone BP 19, MC 98007 Monaco; +377 93 15 15 10; metropole.com