61 Bis Rue de Monceau (8)
This is a Paris restaurant guide, not a tour guide. That said, The Museum Nissim de Camondo has always been among my favorites; for its unmatched collection of period French furniture and decorative arts, for the mansion itself, and because of the tragic history of the Camondo family and of WW II in France which it reveals. I write “reveals”, because like so much of the modern history of French Jews, there is an ambiguity in the telling of that story, which is not what the Museum is meant to be about.
In any case, Le Camondo opened in early Fall, 2017 in the former carriage house/garage and garden of the mansion. In no way is it a museum restaurant. It is an upscale, stand-alone restaurant housed in what was an unused section of the Park Monceau mansion which houses the decorative arts collection.
That there is only a la carte at lunch suggests its uncompromising ambition. We ate inside. If that was all there was to it, we might not make a special effort to return but on a beautiful spring day the private garden would make the effort worthwhile.
The inside room is spacious and very high-ceilinged, as befitting a carriage house, and comfortable in every way, but the garden is quite special.
Complex. Modern. Many ingredients. Not tweezer food, but over-thought, overworked and untraditional.
Confit of tuna over cold cucumber sauce with bits of bean, Spanish ham, lightly boiled egg in a round of crabmeat. Filet of bass with celery root puree and foam; cuttlefish (like squid), scallops, belotta ham and guacamole. All quite tasty, but overwrought and more modern than our taste.
A la carte only. With water, coffee and one glass of wine, 128€. Not cheap in a city where 30€ – 40€ two course lunches are routinely available.