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Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monaco

Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monaco
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Just three hours Southwest of Piedmont, you will find Monaco, an independent country that has become a playground for the super rich. The drive from Italy to Monaco was beautiful, although a bit twisty as we went through the mountains – I wouldn’t recommend the drive unless you have experience driving on narrow European roads. If you don’t want to drive, you could opt to take the train. I will say that the drive was gorgeous though.
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Upon arriving in Monaco and dropping off our rental car, we checked into Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monaco. While there are many hotels in Monaco, this is the only hotel with a private beach. The hotel and the beach are exquisite, and many of the hotel rooms offer views off the sea and riviera. The room itself had a full king sized bed, a sitting area, a desk where I did a little blogging, and a bathroom with a massive tub. The view stole the show though.
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Our room had a curved row of windows that offered magnificent views of the private beach and the Mediterranean on one side, and the riviera and most of Monaco’s coast on the other.
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Here’s a view of the riviera, and a shot of the incredible tray of sweets that was sent up to welcome us to the hotel.
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When we arrived the weather was hot and sunny so we got changed and went straight outside. We had a leisurely lunch on the large restaurant patio, I had a satisfying caesar salad with a glass of rosé.
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Charles had a massive club sandwich with fries. He especially liked how the sandwich was served with a selection of French mustards on the side. After lunch, Charles went swimming in the Mediterranean while I lounged in the sun, and then we moved to the pool, before freshening up for dinner. It was a nice break from all the sightseeing we had been doing in Italy, and a great place to relax.
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It was a beautiful night, so we decided to have a pre dinner drink on the terrace overlooking the sea.
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This turned out to be a wise decision since shortly after we arrived a fireworks show began, courtesy of the Monte Carlo Country Club next to our hotel.
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Le Meridien invited us to dine at their restaurant, L’Intempo Restaurant, where we were treated to an indulgent dinner. Our meal began with salmon tartar with red onion, avocado, radish, and a smoked salmon creme topped with a paprika tortilla chip. It was a light refreshing way to begin our meal, and the combination of the salmon, avocado, and smoked salmon creme was very successful; it was well balanced and each element of the meal was distinct without overwhelming the others.
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The next course was an endive and scallop salad. The endive was lightly dressed with olive oil and topped with lightly roasted tomatoes, garlic, chives, and herbs, and finished with seared scallops. Bites of soft orange added extra flavor. I loved that endive was the only green in this salad – it has such a great crisp, crunchy, and refreshing texture, and it contrasted very well with the super soft and tender scallops, which were cooked to perfection.

This was served with Chateau Cabezac’s les Capitelles, a mineral wine. Mineral wine is a style of wine I have recently become familiar with, it is lighter and it has a unique mineral taste. It’s hard to describe, it’s a wine that is more complex – there are more tastes going on in the background. Due to it’s unique taste, mineral wine can be something you love or hate. I am a fan, Charles hasn’t been won over yet.

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After two lighter dishes, the chef went for umami to the max for the third course. Goose liver was served on buttery toasted brioche with mushrooms and fresh figs, and drizzled with a beef au jus. It was filled with both rich and delicate flavors. The goose liver was a special treat since it something I rarely find in Chicago, and it paired so well with the toasted brioche and tender figs which added complimentary flavors and textures. This course was paired with a red wine from Malherbe in nearby Provence.

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We were in for a fun surprise for the fourth course when a whole salt crusted sea bass was delivered to our table. The sea bass was cooked in a crust made of salt and egg whites. This is a very traditional Mediterranean dish.

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The server cracked open the crust to reveal the flaky flavorful fish inside.

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This was hands down the best fish I have ever had in my life. It was served with a light frothy lemon butter white wine sauce, and the sea bass was so flaky and moist that it practically melted in my mouth. If you are in Monaco, you should run to L’Intempo Restaurant to try this. It was a lot of food, so I would recommend bringing a couple of friends. We switched back to a soft buttery white wine to pair with the sea bass, and this was my favorite of the wine pairings.

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Our meal ended with a scoop of sorbet served in a bed of chopped pineapple, topped with gold lead and a piece of nut brittle. I was glad to have a lighter dessert after eating quite a bit. The smooth almost creamy sorbet was a nice sweet end to our memorable meal.

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The next morning we headed back to L’Intempo for their massive breakfast buffet. I loved the mix of American breakfast staples like scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns, along with more European breakfast items like croissants, breads, meats, and cheeses. It was the perfect fuel for a day of exploring Monaco. I’ll tell you all about it next week!

The Le Meridien Beach Plaza in Monaco very kindly comped our stay. The opinions expressed are my own.

thekittchen