Opened in fall 2016, 21 Michelin–starred chef Alain Ducasse’s Ore restaurant in the Château de Versailles is an elegant French café by day, and a sumptuous private event space by night. Integrated within the palace’s newly-renovated Pavillon Dufore, Palace of Versailles’ head architect Frédéric Didier and architect Dominique Perrault designed Ore to evoke the space’s historic splendour through use of restrained colour and iconographic references to French royalty.
Waiters in dark blue with bronze sunburst cufflinks glide beneath chandeliers shaped to echo the dome of a strawberry—a favoured motif in 17th-century French costume. Guests gaze towards the château through the windows overlooking the Cour Royale and the Cour d’Honneur, sampling, at lunch, light meals and sweet delicacies like lobster and tomato salad, quail paté en croûte, roasted figs with fig leaf-infused cream, and no less than three varieties of soufflé. (A “prince and princess” menu is available for young diners).
Evening menus see elaborate 18th-century tastes influencing contemporary cuisine—dine on snail croquettes, foie gras cromesquis, and roasted meats, finished with confit fruits and little sweets and served on dishes from the Ancient Royal Manufacture of Limoges, founded in 1737. Come in for Queen Marie’s Tea (a tribute to Marie Leszczyńska, the wife of Louis XV) and head pastry chef Arnaud Dutertre will happily let you eat cake—and a marvelous assortment of madeleines and financiers. No one need go hungry at the Palace of Versailles.
Ore, Château de Versailles, Pavillon Dufour – 1st floor, Place d’Armes, 78 000 Versailles, France, +33 1 30 84 12 96
Photos courtesy of Pierre Monetta / Dominique Perrault Architecture / Adagp – Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost Design / Adagp
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