Starck-y Cocktail Adventures: Royal Monceau
37 Avenue Hoche
01 42 99 88 00
Wedding syndrome: Unrealistically high expectations unattainable in reality. Only One day. Only one chance. Everything. Must. Be. Perfect. I was recently in London for a wedding where the bride suffered none of that and as a result it was one of the most enjoyable and lovely weddings I've attended. However, I think I personally may have experienced a bit of wedding syndrome on one of my latest bar visits.
I'd been hearing über-buzz about the prestigious Royal Monceau bar since long before its Starckified recent reopening. With all the hype, perhaps I was expecting too much: cocktails made from joyful unicorn tears of gin that would transport me to faraway places on cotton candy clouds. But what I got instead was simply really well made cocktails.
The over-all hotel revamping has been met with both positive and negative criticism. For such an enormous redesign undertaking, Matt and I found the bar to be surprisingly understated. I dig the long, glowing counter and the pretty multi-colored glass displays. The space feels open and airy without sacrificing a warm and welcoming ambience.
Highly competent Greg, formerly of le Secret, manages the tight bar team and knocks out some damn fine drinks. I had a Beefeater 24 martini, which was excellent and Matt had a Sidecar, which in our opinion was the best Sidecar we've had anywhere, ever. Drinks were accompanied by bar snacks of classed up breadsticks and nuts or olives. (I can't remember which one)
Spirit selection is impressive and the prices - at around 20 Euros a drink - are entirely reasonable for a hotel of this caliber. However, I was slightly less impressed with our second round of drinks, which were house creations. Unfortunately, I am very behind on my blog posts, so I can't remember which ones we took - I only remember not being as wowed by them as I'd hoped. So, excellent marks for the classics and I’m staying open minded about the house concoctions.
The unfortunate reason for my slowness and lack of notes is that I lost my camera at the wedding in London. So, I'm working from my brain only without drink and menu pictures as back up. I pilfered the pics for this post off Adrian and you can read his review of the bar here. You’ll also find some picture on this site.
Overall, I'm happy with the price, quality, selection and service at the RM bar. I think any kinks I might have experienced are teething pains and that Greg & Co will do an outstanding job of it. And, I will happily go back to make sure.