Food and drink
In more recent times, Spoon has simplified its menu so it’s not quite so much like trying to understand a spread-sheet.
But the choice remains large and varied, ranging around the Mediterranean basin, from France, via Italy to the Lebanon and North Africa – all filtered through the imagination of Ducasse and his man in St Tropez, chef Vincent Maillard.
Line-caught sea-bass, chicken tajine with olives and lemons and tuna à-la-plancha are dishes which catch the eye – and there are intense combinations of vegetable, cereals and sauces to accompany. Certain items, like sea-bream with lemon and fennel, are for sharing (as, at €92 a throw, they jolly well should be).
Best fun of all is the Spoon Experience Menu. Essentially, you eat whichever selection dishes the chef sends out. Even at €86 a go, I doubt you will be disappointed.
And, unusually for France, the place has a vast selection of wines, by the bottle or glass, from pretty much everywhere in the world.
We’ve already discussed the terrace which, low-lit underneath the plane trees, is quite lovely. Within minutes, I’d ceased worrying that everyone else there was better looking, richer and almost certainly a lot more famous than I was. Oddly, and though you’re in the open, you can carve out your own little world within it all.
The terrace then segues almost imperceptibly into the interior of the restaurant – where the best bit has red banquettes and low-hanging Moroccan lamps. The bar itself is a circular item of blue glass and stainless steel, with goblets and bottles apparently hovering in mid-air above.
It’s all hip enough for those who care about hipness – the place has its roll-call of showbiz regulars – without in any way outraging those of us who don’t.
Given the choice (and the weather), though, I’d still go for dining on the terrace.
Friendly, effective and helpful – even if you’re ugly and unknown. Believe me.
At the foot of the Byblos hotel – with its own, separate entry – hard by the Place des Lices.
Allow a minimum of €65-70 a head, more if you’re going to splash out on a special menu and/or on the wine.
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Special occasions