The five star Peninsula hotel in Paris is grand from the outside in – just take a look at the foyer. There are a few options when dining here but our visit is for their 6th floor restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc.
The views from this small, square dining room surrounded with windows are quite something and even though the snow and fog completely cover the nearby Eiffel Tower it’s still a lovely place to sit and have your lunch.
There’s an aviation theme throughout playing homage to Charles Nungesser and François Coli (I hadn’t heard of them either) who attempted to cross the Atlantic from Le Bourget back in 1927. It’s a subtle theme which is quite charming.
As we’re in Paris and it’s truffle season we go for the Richerenches Black Truffle menu (€215 per person). It starts with a celeriac soup topped with plenty of truffle served on the most gorgeous silver platter.
Next up, a small, soft loaf of bread is topped with grated truffle, again plentiful, and inside there’s vintage Comté cheese which packs quite a pungent punch.
A frothy ricotta cheese velouté surrounds a single organic egg yolk. It’s been cured so has both a firm and gooey texture which is lush. It’s a cosy hug by the fire on a snowy day.
Bresse chicken is smoked with hay which isn’t overbearing in the slightest. It comes atop a sea of berry lentils, shaved truffle and a Perigeux sauce poured at the table.
For the cheese course they miss a trick by not serving a slice of something squidgy, stinky and FRENCH. Instead, it’s truffled Pecorino with fricassee salad and walnuts. It’s lovely don’t get me wrong – I just love French cheese.
Dessert is a work of art. A spiral cylinder of the finest dark chocolate topped with a glistening chocolate dome filled with runny praliné looks and tastes stunning. It’s not rich or sickly either, so light.
We finish with coffee, macaroons and homemade toffee which is the perfect ending. Lunch at L’Oiseau Blanc shows that their offering is so much more than just an impressive view – I’d sit in a windowless basement to eat that menu.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant