Anyone who still believes that luxury and organic are incompatible, find here a denial of weight. Nestled in the Monte Carlo Roquebrune Beach Hotel, an upscale resort in the 1930s revived by the designer India Mahdavi, Elsa is a concentrate of Riviera. White terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, graphic and clear room with azure walls, everything is in place. This attractive table, awarded in the “culinary creativity” category at the 2014 Organic Place Awards, is also the first restaurant in France to be able to boast of being both 100% organic certified and the bearer of a Michelin star *. This award, made in February 2014, is a victory for chef Paolo Sari, who has been involved for three years in a cuisine of excellence that respects nature.
Flowers and plants mingle To serve this demanding gastronomy, Paolo Sari worked in the hinterland of Monaco in search of local gardeners able to deliver exquisite vegetables and fruits without pesticides, picked at the peak of their taste quality. Free for the chef to reveal and marry their raw flavors, an art refined in the four corners of the world. The menus vary over the weeks, depending on what these producers harvest. That’s why one of Elsa’s flagship dishes, a vegetal and floral entry called “Bio Sama”, is never really the same. The sabayon of red fruits either, which celebrates spring strawberries, raspberries or cherries during the summer, etc.
An air of Italy When he does not pick in his immediate surroundings, Paolo Sari relies on the best soils: salt of Guérande and extra virgin olive oil from the hinterland of Nice, herbes de Provence and black truffle from Périgord, mountain beans and green citrus from the coast … Of course, Paolo Sari does not deny his native country, Italy, which is only a few kilometers from Monaco. Sanremo prawns, old parmesan artichokes, spaghetti, capelleti, gnocchi and risotto, Pantelleria capers and iced cappuccino are all on the menu.
A resort in organic clothes Sunday, brunch day, the chef exposes the arrivals of the day, rough. The guests choose what whets their appetite and the maestro cooks them especially. A privilege that requires, as for other meals, to book well in advance. Especially since the honors of Michelin have placed Elsa in the spotlight, the number of seats is limited (30 indoor, 30 on the terrace), and the stoves only run between March and October. If you want to extend your stay, know that the resort that houses it, owned by the Society of Sea Baths (held 70% by the Monegasque government), has converted its three catering points to 100% organic . Until the mini-bar in the rooms! A rarity that deserves a detour …
*: Other starred chefs very committed to the organic had not yet official certification for the restoration in spring 2014, when Paolo Sari was distinguished.