ELSA | MONACO
Elsa is basking in the unmistakable glow of a Michelin Star; The first ever to be awarded to an all-organic restaurant. In a city that casts spells with its extravagance, Elsa’s simple and natural ethos is something of an anomaly and it’s taken Monte Carlo by storm. It’s wonderful.
According to the headlines, carrots could be the new caviar; at Elsa Monaco at least, where this divine Michelin crowned waterfront dining experience is turning Monaco’s traditional definition of luxury cuisine on its head and receiving huge acclaim for it. The
As is every meal I laid my eyes on; even from afar, Chef Paolo Sari’s dishes are visually stunning. Almost as though detailed design is part & parcel of being on the team of the suavely bohemian, India Mahdavi designed, Monte Carlo Beach Hotel. Maybe the waterfront location delivers the restaurant a touch of Beach Club leisureliness because by Monaco’s stiff gourmet standards Elsa feels original, elegant and exciting. Even Elsa’s shaved baby carrots, wild asparagus, fava beans, radishes, fennel and edible flowers seem to enjoy an artful arrival onto the plate.
“A seriously stand out foodie experience.”
Monte Carlo Beach
may have seemed like an improbable place to set up anything deliberately devoid of pomp, let alone an all-organic restaurant, but in 2014, Sari’s innovation, avant-garde culinary style and impeccable biological vision have made him the Monte Carlo Beach Club’s, Michelin Man. Head chef of the first restaurant in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to receive the prestigious Bio (organic) certification by Ecocert isn’t a bad secondary title either.
No one here is trying to woo a cheap ‘wow’ from their guests for another fancy menu the size of a small cookbook. Only the freshest, seasonal ingredients are served. A network of organic farmers and certified suppliers ensure Elsa’s kitchen is cooking only quality certified produce, farmed locally when possible. Absolutely everything at Elsa is organic, from the fruit and vegetables to the bread and ice cream. The real star of the show here is clearly and intentionally, the produce.
On arriving at the table, each dish is briefly explained and given geographical relevance; considering the entire municipality of Monaco is about the size of NYC’s Central Park, the process of how and where the food on my fork had been organically farmed to fit Elsa’a 100% organic ethos wasn’t disinteresting. The dazzle is in the details.
The two pairs of entrée and plat we shared were spectacular. While I’d almost always describe the public dining etiquette of my better half & I as extremely civilised, during those entrées every second bite was literally the subject of so much commotion and awe at our table we may have maddened a Monacan or two. Made with new potatoes the velvet gnocchi is to die for, served with baby vegetables, herbs and flowers napped with parmesan cream and mint butter, it’s a dish not to be missed.
The Dazzle is in the Detail
The bread — baked with organic Italian flour and served with four different kinds of organic olive oil — requires your undivided attention too while the dessert highlight has to be a magnificent Sicilian almond soufflé. Bliss. Topped off nicely with a divine selection of chocolates and pastries that arrived shortly after they cleared our empty plates. Take a minute to check out the organic wines, we opted not to try one but if you feel like going all out, the option to sample a completely certified beverage list is definitely there.
If you’re in Monaco or just passing by Monte Carlo on your way to the Côte d’Azur, every aspect of the Elsa Monaco experience is sensational. Those who love the idea of checking out the first 100% organic michelin star restaurant won’t need much convincing, but rest assured, you don’t need to give a hoot about the menu’s certification figure to enjoy the divine gastronomy here. It’s a seriously stand out foodie experience that belongs on your dining bucket list. If you’re looking for luxury accommodation nearby look no further than Le Meridien Beach Plaza hotel, not only is it exceptional, from Elsa, it’s just a 10 minute stroll along Avenue Princesse-Grace.
Monte Carlo Beach, Avenue Princesse-Grace
Tel: +33 4 93 28 66 66.