Basking under a Michelin-star glow within just a year of opening, La Table d'Antonio Salvatore has set the bar deliriously high from the get-go. Tucked away below Monégasque institution Rampoldi, where beau monde luminaries Grace Kelly and Roger Moore once strolled under its twinkling chandeliers, just five tables get to experience chef Antonio Salvatore's culinary wizardry at any one time. And what a joy that is.
One of the first things you notice on arrival at La Table (which is the first 100% organic restaurant to be bestowed the highest gastronomic star of approval) is that it manages to achieve quite an unusual feat for a dining establishment of this calibre: cosiness. This might sound trite, but it's true: Michelin marvels (of which Monaco has more of per square mile than almost anywhere worldwide) may astound with their Epicurean delights, but can fall short when it comes to ambience. That's certainly not the case for La Table d'Antonio Salvatore.
Offering just the right amount of bling-bling that one would expect in a country where streets practically jingle with money (one in three residents are millionaires here), La Table, which calls a former cigar lounge home, is decidedly cinematic. Dimmed lights divert your attention to the motion-picture sized screen located at the back of the restaurant, where a calming carousel of images: of whales soaring into the skies and plunging back deep below the surface, or of sparkling cityscapes fizzing with life are in slow rotation.
The menu is a boldly flavoured ode to the rolling hills of sundrenched Basilicata (his homeland) and of the Côte d'Azur's finest seasonal produce.
Image credits: @la_table_dantonio_salvatore
The visual feast extends to the table, of which two waiters attend to each. Masterminded by Italian native Salvatore, the menu is a boldly flavoured ode to the rolling hills of sundrenched Basilicata (his homeland) and of the Côte d'Azur's finest seasonal produce.
À la carte is an option in theory, but when La Table provides one of the most unique dining experiences that the Riviera has to offer, is anything else other than an eight-course dégustation really an option? Salvatore sets the imaginative soul's fire alight with trompe l'œil creations like the foie gras terrine that looks like a rubber duck, perching on a bed of green apple pearls; the Limoni di Sorrento, a featherlight chocolate mouse that looks like a freshly plucked lemon; and the TiramiSu, an enormous coffee bean that cracks open to discharge a stream of velvety-soft tiramisu.
It's truly refreshing to see such a youthful exuberance take on Franco-Italian cuisine at this level of dining in Monaco. And we can't wait to see what kind of magic Salvatore is going to whip up next.
Visited 21/07/2021 and reviewed by Mairead Finlay
La Table d'Antonio Salvatore au Rampoldi
3 Av. des Spélugues,