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Joel Robuchon and Christian Constant
From Henri 111 to Louis XV1, from the Duc de Joyeuse to the Compte d’Artois, all the great names in French history have left their mark at the various cross-roads of the bucolic Bois de Boulogne. The restaurant La Grande Cascade is located in a magnificent Second Empire pavilion, in the heart of the Bois opposite Longchamp racetrack. La Cascade was built for Napoleon III as a "leetle" hunting lodge and transformed into an elegant watering hole for the Great Exhibition of 1900. “At that time it was chic to go for a ride in the Bois to have one’s carriage admired”, explains Georges Menut, who, with his brother Bertrand keeps the Belle Epoque maison running like clockwork. Looking around the car-park (formerly the stables) you realise that is still the idea, only there’s lots more horse-power in the Ferraris, Porsches, and chauffeur driven limo/carriages these days.
The marvellous Menuts (third generation Grand Cascadeers) have kept every detail precise; the dining room sparkles with enough crystal chandeliers, original artwork, trompe l’oeil, precious china and ceiling paintings to make a visit to The Louvre seem positively de trop. This is one hell of a location for a summer lunch or dinner on the landscaped terrace, the music of the waterfall (cascade) tinkle, tinkling. Menut (Georges) explains that, in the Parisian restaurant business, the question owners ask is, “do we have to do fusion/chic cuisine to pack in the punters?” But for Menut “The Grand Cascade has a style of its own, leaning towards the traditional harmonies which the chef interprets, call it "classic revisted"…”, Menut suggests. The chef Richard Mebkbout is a new talent who took over from the excellent Jean-Louis Nomicos, left to re-invent Lasserre, and by all accounts doing very well.
Look around and see what’s chic this season, the Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera look, a few safari jackets, lots of Dior saddlebags, important jewellery, Manolos. Businessmen, in Armani or Hugo Boss,Menu Degustation 150€ + A La Carte
26 rue du Chateau,