Ambitious Dinner at Blue Bay Restaurant, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort (1* Michelin; Monte-Carlo, Monaco)
I personally find it interesting that many 1* Michelin restaurants tend to push the envelope with food with young chefs. One of the most unique dinners we had during our visit to Monte Carlo was at Blue Bay at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Executive Chef Marcel Ravin is from the Caribbean island of Martinique and fuses flavors of his background with French cuisine. He creates bold flavors, interesting textures and uses ingredients that seem exotic to someone who has not visited that small isle.
When we arrived from our luxe shuttle (a large Mercedes van just to ourselves) from Hotel Hermitage to Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort that is about a ten-minute drive up northeast, up the coast of Monaco. Peering out the windows, there is a certain change on the scene that felt a tiny bit casual and relaxed rather than its ornate main city area. When we arrived to the lobby of Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, it feels decidedly relaxed and modern with bright colors of burnt orange and yellow.
As usual, we’re dining outdoors on the terrace since it’s a gorgeous evening out. And seeing the dusty pink and blue skies at sunset can’t be beat.
We started off with glasses of Champagne and amuse bouches of a tomato gelee, caramelized onion petal and pepper, and foie gras rolled in cocoa nibs and an anchovy tart. These three amuses were great, classic French bites and the vegetal bite was refreshing. It also pairs superbly with the dry glass of bubbly. By the time our server came out with fresh baked rolls served with a special olive oil blend made by the chef (not too acidic and well-rounded flavors), there was one that was unique to the Caribbean region that is similar to a fry bread that is much lighter, delicate crispness and looks sort of like the back of a hedgehog.
We have realized over the course of our meal, every course came with at least two side dishes to a fairly large main dish we’re eating. Our first course of gamberoni, quinoa risotto with sake liquor, almonds flavored with vodka. The main dish of large, sweet gamberoni was filled with a delicious, earthy quinoa risotto and crisp rice cracker and buckwheat cracker. The side dish or snack of a palm-sized rice cracker sandwich of gamberoni and fresh basil looked simply prepared but has plenty of shrimp flavor and a refreshing bite. There’s also a small cup of luscious foamed almond milk with vodka was creamy and subtly sweet but savory enough that it didn’t feel like dessert.
Our second courses were divided up. My friend had the green papaya spaghetti carbonara style, black truffle, parmesan cheese, jubugo ham while I had the organic egg, cassava, passion fruit and black truffle. We both liked our truffled dishes since both had a creative twist. The green papaya carbonara dish was creamy, slightly crunchy and pungently earthy and it tasted good. However, it didn’t have the exact comforting mouthfeel of what pasta would provide since the green papaya was refreshing and had a toothsome texture.
The organic egg, cassava, passion fruit and black truffle dish fared out a bit better than the green papaya carbonara in terms of the creamy, comforting, indulgent feel. The passion fruit gave enough fruity, acidic punch that was needed from the rich dish.
Our fish courses were a lighter dish compared to our egg and truffled dishes. The local fish (I was informed a similar to a rougail or snapper) with a herbaceous sauce was simply treated but very good. My companion’s preserved cod fish & pink pepper foam and spicy cassava bread was flavorful and different with the spices.
As for the meat course, we both had roast chicken with Indian spices, green beans and a side dish of dombre pasta with foie gras. The chicken was delectable and succulent. The dombre pasta is like a heavy gnocchi made with possibly cassava flour. A little couple of spoonfuls of this pasta would suffice since it’s quite dense.
When pre-dessert arrived, we were completely satisfied with the refreshing lime basil sorbet with cubes of graham crackers and basil leaves.
Our main dessert arrived in plates of three. My dessert of Variation of Chocolate Maracudia “Three Ways” was a trio of desserts focusing on chocolate. The main dessert that was presented in a roasted cacao pod filled with chocolate sponge, chocolate mousse, cacao crisps, dotted in passion fruit pulp was delightful. My friend’s strawberry meringue cake was wonderful with the ripe tiny strawberries that exude the gorgeous strawberries and tastes like mid-summer.
The meal overall was interesting and good. Service was professional and friendly. The staff seemed to sense our slowing of pace toward the last two courses that pacing of the meal was perfect.
For more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the complete set or see below:
Blue Bay (1* Michelin) at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
40 Av. Princesse Grace, Monaco
Phone: +377 98 06 03 60