Lyrics by Selina Julien
Four Seasons Hotel, George V, Paris is as synonymous with culinary excellence as it is with being one of the best hotels in the world. The only European establishment to hold five Michelin stars for three of its restaurants, this is the place to see and be seen for chic Parisians and discerning connoisseurs.
The George is no exception. The Michelin-star haunt is run by chef Simone Zanoni, who took the helm in 2016 after honing her skills at restaurants Claridge’s and Gordon Ramsay. Bringing his distinctive style to the Parisian foodie scene, Zanoni curated a fresh, modern take on classic Mediterranean cuisine, designed for sharing. Its exceptional tasting menus have created such a craze with foodies that the tables here are like gold dust.
Housed in one of France’s most iconic hotels, venture behind the glass doors of Le George where interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has created a timeless and chic setting with Parisian accents. The vaulted ceiling blends perfectly with the artwork of Junior Fritz Jacquet where huge windows offer an exceptional view of the courtyard.
For an extra dose of romance, dine in the 400 m² marble courtyard adorned with orchids under the starry Parisian nights. It’s an explosion of dark purple flowers and sculpted trees as a giant mirrored orchid sculpture by Jeff Koons takes center stage. Wonderfully relaxed, with a soothing jazz soundtrack, it sets the perfect mood for a memorable evening.
Zanoni, of Italian descent, does not pull his punches offering deliciously presented seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner covers. Expect octopus cooked over a wood fire, candied tomato tarte tatin, pan-fried sea bass and crispy Corsican pork, to name but a few. But the piece de resistance is definitely the multi-course tasting menu, which the attentive staff expertly guides us through. Promising to take guests on a journey of flavors between the French Riviera and Northern Italy, paired with excellent wine choices from the regions, it does not disappoint.
Fine dining gems are sprinkled throughout the well-curated menu, where standouts include melt-in-your-mouth yellowtail amberjack crudo smothered with citrus sauce, beef carpaccio with black truffle and agnolotti pasta plus veal stew (a very famous dish for a good reason) topped with oyster mushrooms.
Zanoni insists that every pasta dish is “one bite to eat” and practices what he preaches, with every bite bursting with surprising flavor. “My work has been described as a culinary journey for the senses. I want all the senses to be awakened and dazzled. In addition, the appearance of the dish is as important as its taste and should always take the guest somewhere or evoke a memory,” says Zanoni. It’s a bold but fair statement, as all the senses are awakened with each dish that skilfully marries his Italian heritage and his love of French cuisine.
The main course is a Milanese-style veal chop accompanied by a mixture of vegetables from the Potager de Versailles. The George is leading the way in sustainability by using composted kitchen scraps to fertilize the soil from the gardens, which grow the organic produce in Zanoni’s Michelin-starred dishes. He says: “When you open the way to excellence, you have to imagine the gastronomy of tomorrow. And the latter can only flourish through exemplary environmental responsibility.
Growing up in northern Italy, Zanoni inherited her grandmother’s passion for cooking, where it was natural to share produce and meals with her family and the local community. It was the first inspiration for his tasting menu where diners could bond over a shared feast. These life lessons still ring true for Zanoni as he continues to delight the taste buds with incredible flavors and an elevated dining experience that stays with guests long after their last bite.
Make way for dessert because the elderberry, strawberry, frozen sheep’s milk meringue is a light and refreshing finish. The wine pairings are a perfect match in tasting heaven, from Champagne Philipponnat Royale Reserve Brut to Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso, a superb red wine from Tuscany. It’s a great introduction to an outstanding range of fine wines from vineyards across the Mediterranean, with many surprise wines now unmissable.
Paris being the capital of gastronomy, Le George is the gift that never ceases to be given and with Zanoni holding court, the waiting list grows even longer.
The Le George tasting menu is 138 euros pp (minimum two people), the lunch menu is 70 euros.
Address: Four Seasons, George V, 31, Avenue George V, Paris 75008
Call: +33 1 49 52 70 00