Friday, February 12, 2016

Tea at Le Dali, Hotel Meurice

On Wednesday food writer Meryle Evans invited me to join her for a special tea at Hotel Meurice
Le Dali restaurant. 228 rue de Rivoli 75008 One does not refuse such an invitation.
The salon de thé is sumptuous, elegant yet pleasently intimate.
We ordered the Dali's Tea Time menu
With lovely foie gras sandwiches, scones, jams and a long list of unusual teas, even bleu tea.
But we were here especially for top pastry chef Cédric Grolet's absolutely amazing desserts.
Every few months a special fruit is featured in the salon, deconstructed to it's purest form.
February you can catch The Lemon. We were lucky to have an expert guide for our tea.
M. did the honors cutting The Lemon like an action movie
Chef Grolet, in dialogue with hotel chef, Alain Ducasse have created a dessert with the least amount of sugar and salt. Their objective - to attain the purist experience of lemoniness.
Subtraction is key. Everything is lemon, rather than adding in any other flavors.
A thin white chocolate shell protects a layer of lemon mousse. 
In the center a confit of lemon and something called 'lemon caviar'
From Australian finger limes. An utterly unique experience in the mouth.
Last month's dessert specialty was noisette (hazelnut). Now you can taste it as a mini tartelette.
Coco Jobard discovered the noisette.
On to the dessert of the district, the classic gateau Saint Honoré, created just a few blocks away by Maison Chibouste around 1850.
Too beautiful to eat
Then a return to the traditional 'wheel-shaped' Paris Brest adorned with hazelnuts and hazelnut pastry cream inside. By this time Meryle had fallen by the wayside and was resting.
Until pastry chefs came around with hot-from-the-oven trays of divine melt-in-your-mouth honey madeleines
Irresistible. They do this several times during afternoon tea service. Miam
Thank you Merle for a spectacular tea at Le Dali!
My pumpkin was outside waiting to take me home...
I'm still floating on air.


  1. Wow! That is amazing! and beautiful! Love the lemon idea too. Thanks for all you share.

  2. Wow ..what an do lemons so well..and so does M.Le Chef~
    Those are the most amazingly plump madeleines I have ever seen.I would love to have seen that.
    I looked at Le Menu..

    48 Euros is now $75.00 Canadian..we're in a slump dollar value wise.
    Quelle Tristesse.

  3. That looked amazing! What a fabulous experience! Thanks for sharing...

  4. What a glorious experience!
    Some things don't have a price.
    It's about the discovery.

  5. cyndi from SD10:45 AM

    Absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh, my! This lemon lover would be in heaven - is in heaven just viewing and reading the details. How do they do the whole lemon? is there an opening on the bottom? Amazing dessert. I'm craving one of those madeleines for my morning coffee. I've added tea at Le Dali, Hotel Maurice to my Paris list. A must do my next visit!
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and sweet Bear! ~ Sarah

    1. You will not be disappointed. Do go.
      As for the creation of the lemon, there's a video on UT for the noisette here:

  7. Bonnie in CA10:58 AM

    Your blog and your paintings are sheer DELIGHT

  8. Dear Carol, that surely is an elegant tea. It's rather wonderful to realize that such possibilities exist...although not very accessible by mere mortals. Thanks for giving me something else to aspire to! xo

    1. You are not a mere mortal Frances.
      I think you could do it IMHO

  9. Oh my lord. How fantastic!!! You did make my morning coffee extra special today!!

  10. Barbara1:19 PM

    How do you survive this indulgence ? OMG!

  11. Beautiful post
    did u eat all these lovely good looking gâteau !! A maestro chef Grollet Love your dessin of him

  12. Eliza1:25 PM

    Mais le the apparait tres delicieux!

  13. That looks like a glorious tea and well worth the 48 euros. It all looks amazing, but that lemon is glorious as I do love lemon. One more to add to my list for Sept 2017 (can I really wait that long?)

  14. What a treat Carol - and those petit gateaux are to die-for. I ventured into Hotel Meurice once for a coffee which they served me with a handmade chocolate on the side in a sort of lobby area - I stayed as long as seemed appropriate then ventured down to the opulent ladies loo's to indulge in a few spritz's of French perfume then paid my very expensive L'addition with tip ... it was worth every euro and I would do it all again but this time be brave enough to take a few pics between sips. Thanks for sharing your lovely outing.

  15. Vicki1:12 AM

    Absolutely magnificent! Are the madeleines doubles, filled? This is all beyond gorgeous. I'm so glad you had this opportunity.

    1. What are madeleine doubles? Never heard of that..

  16. Oh wow, what a wonderful idea. I will have to save up my calories and go for it. What glorious decadence.

    1. Sugar-free since then. Its impossible to eat sweets after having la creme de la creme at the Meurice.

  17. Susan3:39 AM

    Were those real lemons on the outside? Fascinating! I have a Meyer lemon tree in my backyard...looks labor intensive but gorgeous!

  18. Awwww, so nice!! I wish I had been there to share this with my two old New York foodie pals! It's so nice you two connected and enjoyed this together!

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  20. Ooh lucky you Carol - what an invitation! Cédric Grolet is a genius and these lemons are testimony to such pastry wizardry. Rich is the word for not only the surroundings but pastries too (how can you resist these madeleines out of the oven on top of it all?) - certainly no need for dinner so great value in the end. Love also spotting French TV personalities in various corners. Next time I'm asking for a better upright chair of Starck's, as was unlucky with an uncomfy antique armchair last time - looked like you had a wonderful afternoon together.
    And LOVE your initial sketch here!

  21. I love the opening sketch, Carol.
    Then comes one of the best collections of photos I've ever seen you put together :)

  22. This all looks amazing! What a great afternoon tea. As an Australian I've never had 'lemon caviar' made from limes....will have to keep a look out!


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