L’Atelier Maitre Albert gathers people from around the world for one of their best meals in Paris.
Located on the south bank just across the Notre Dame, but still far enough from the busy touristy streets in St Michele, L’Atelier Maître Albert Restaurant radiates a calm, sophisticated Parisian evening feel. By the restaurant´s own definition, it is “a highly contemporary rotisserie” where chef Emmanuel Monsallier interprets “market-fresh” ingredients into “their true expression.”
The French restaurant can be found in the Michelin guide, marked with two revered forks, and gathers people around the world for one of their best meals in Paris. What’s especially touching is the “simple and unfussy” atmosphere, where camera bags and sightseeing trainers are welcomed with as much wide smile as business suits, even if the latter matches with the chic interiors more.
Jean-Michel Wilmotte designed the practical set-up, often praised for their “rustic and chic ambiance.” Decor is traditional, with wooden and stone elements, reminding one of an old-fashioned wine cellar; dark-painted walls and minimalist details of simple leather chairs, contemporary paintings, and fresh flowers lifted up by spotlights. The seating arrangement leave the space modernly open as if encouraging guests to share their dinner experience in a friendly spirit.
The restaurant is divided into three areas. The Vinotheque boasts meters and meters of vintage wines on light-up shelves, which adorn the walls like a funky and tasteful tapestry; naturally the wine list is extensive. The Library Dining Room, the most private area in the restaurant, is segregated by shades and decorated by a selection of books on shelves. The Mantel Piece Dining Room is the biggest common area, where a large open fireplace serves as the lungs of the place. In fact, if you reserve in advance, you can have a seat just right next to the flickering romantic light. An action-filled open kitchen is on the other side, where you can watch the dinner meat slowly sizzling into a juicy perfection, until finally sliced for your plate.
The restaurant concept is based around the vertical rotisseries adorning the open kitchen. Actually, when searching for this restaurant online, one will mostly find rant about their “Spit-roasted Free-range Chicken with Whipped Potatoes (€22; Bt895),” which has been praised as “so tender, so rich of flavor,” and the potatoes, “creamy, buttery peaks of heaven.” The European standard pricing of around €30 (approximately Bt1,222) scares some of the price-conscious epicureans away though. Set dinner menu comes for €36 and the equivalent for lunch from €26 to €31.
For the meats one may choose from chicken, veal shank, and beef. “Médallion de lotte à la broche, riz basmati et petit pois en cocotte (€31),” a monkfish medallion in a skewer served with basmati rice and fresh pea casserole, is the choice for seafood-lovers. In addition to the sweet smell of roasted meat, it is the name Guy Savoy that lures the crowd. The menu bears the prestigious name of this French chef, who stepped into fame with his Guy Savoy Restaurant in Paris, which earned three Michelin stars in 2002. Later, he opened a popular restaurant with the same name in Las Vegas, picking two Michelins on his way. He now lends his name and talent to a handful of restaurants in Paris, one of them being L’Atelier Maître Albert.
In keeping with traditional French cuisine, subtle balanced tastes are the core of Chef Savoy’s menu. High-quality wines, cheeses, and hearty dishes made from the famous French butter are natural parts of the continental cuisine.
Clients have repeatedly described L’Atelier Maître Albert service as “attentive,” and some are even pleased that it is “not too quick, as we were not in a hurry.” Also, in a city of notoriously proud native speakers, this restaurant is a secure choice for travelers wishing for English service. But if you want to brush up your Arabic, Spanish, Italian, or Russian, the staff can, and are happy, to serve you in any of these languages.
An important tip: Arrive before 8 p.m. You might be surprised to have the whole place for yourself. Parisian dinner crowds like to eat late and keep the staff busy until the closing time at one past midnight. However, the waiters have been given many thanks for their patient, considerate care. One fitting example: a table reservation was held for a late dinner group for more than 30 minutes even if the restaurant was bustling with other takers.
Unforgettable dinner in Paris? This one never disappoints.