The elegant but welcoming dining room at the Four Seasons George V is one of the most sumptuous settings for a meal in Paris, with courtly good-humoured service and a magnificent décor of damask hung windows overlooking the hotel’s courtyard garden. Recently it has been generating a lot of buzz too, since the arrival of chef Christian Le Squer, who previously held three Michelin stars at Ledoyen for twelve years. Le Squer, a Breton, is one of the most brilliant seafood cooks in France, creating dishes such as one of his sublime signature plates of line-caught sea bass with buttermilk sauce and caviar or John Dory lacquered with mandarin orange juice with petals of green mango. The magnificent dish that instantly became a potent permanent fixture of my gastronomic memory during a recent lunch, however, was a terrine of spaghetti filled with ham, button mushrooms and chunks of black truffle in a velvety cream sauce. This was an ingenious creation, since the spaghetti had been meticulously placed strand by strand into a terrine, which was then baked and finally filled with the sauce. At once homey and dazzlingly elegant, it’s a perfect example of Le Squer’s remarkable technical talents and extraordinary culinary imagination. But what perhaps makes his cooking especially fascinating is that simplicity is the main compass point of his cooking. “My work is to respect and enhance the natural flavours of the produce I work with,” the chef modestly told me while he greeted us tableside during a tour of the dining room while we were waiting for dessert. And what desserts! One was remarkably inventive and sophisticated, a frozen milk parfait seasoned with brewer’s yeast, and the other was classically luxurious, a chocolate dome with a light caramel sauce. An ideal address for Valentine’s Day, and the other 364 days of the year, too.
31 ave George V (8th), 01 49 52 71 54