Finding quality food and drink in Paris is easy. Pleasing the palate has long been one of the city's great artistic allures, and a wander in any direction will lead to mouth-watering fare. And yet, there's no experience quite like L'Oiseau Blanc, the rooftop restaurant of the newly opened Peninsula Hotel. Originally built in 1908, the structure has a deep history across both art and politics—and it's an altogether architectural wonder, reflecting the grandeur of Paris both then and now. Its doors, however, were shuttered, but new management stepped in and roughly a billion dollars were put into renovations over the last four years. As the first Peninsula Hotel in Europe, with that comes a reputation for future-forward luxury—and L'Oiseau Blanc is clearly its crown.
As for the mis-en-scène, L'Oiseau Blanc boasts a 360° view of the City of Lights. The Peninsula's placement near both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe provides an intimate sensation despite the overwhelming vista. The restaurant and bar—which has a retractable roof—is adjacent to a large outside dining terrace, where tables are neatly arranged with personal space in mind. The aviation-themed interior, aside from acting as a reminder that guests are atop the Parisian world, honors famed pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli who attempted to cross the Atlantic in 1927 from Le Bourget.
Chef Sidney Redel oversees the menu at L'Oiseau Blanc. His approach brings traditional French cuisine into to the modern day with delicate flourishes. Redel's signature dish—turbot braised with bay leaves, leeks, turnip, pork and lentils—is the clearest representation of the restaurant's sophisticated food offerings. The bar's signature cocktail, The Heartbeat, is a well-balanced yet extravagant concoction composed of champagne, chambord, lemon juice, and basil. The remainder of the drinks menu also marries classic cocktails with modern flair and—as expected—L'Oiseau Blanc features an extensive, enticing wine list.
From its location on Avenue Kléber in the 16th arrondissement, L'Oiseau Blanc offers breathtaking views within a quaint space to eat and drink. While on the more expensive side (cocktails start at €15), the rooftop atmosphere is a uniquely luxuriant and reliable experience for a romantic night overlooking Paris or as simply a grand way to take in the view.
Images courtesy of The Peninsula Paris