Meaning, simply, “white bird”, L’Oiseau Blanc does indeed have a kind of airborne soul, seeing as how it’s perched on the top floor of The Peninsula Paris. But the name in fact refers to the biplane that Charles Nungesser and François Coli flew in 1927 as they attempted to cross the Atlantic, which, sadly disappeared en route. Slightly more cheery, however, the restaurant is a celebration of all things gastronomically French – with an elegant aviation theme.
The menu is crafted with care and attention by Chef Sidney Redel, with a significant contribution from the markets of Paris, from where he handpicks the ingredients. Hence, it’s hard to predict what might make an appearance. But French cuisine is passionately pursued, meaning that you might find duck foie gras one week, green asparagus from Frédéric Poupard’s L’Angevine asparagus farm with Caesar whipped cream and asparagus velouté the next. International influences are also used to highlight and delight, from ras-el-hanout giving a spicy kick to an expertly cooked rack of lamb from Lozère, to curry spices making monkfish from Brittany come alive with flavour.
It’s a restaurant where you can settle back and put yourself in the hands of the chef. And enjoy the views. With huge windows, L’Oiseau Blanc takes in the full sweep of the lavender-grey rooftops of Paris, punctuated by landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. While any table at this crisp, airy restaurant will be atmospheric, while the sun shines it would be a shame not to take full advantage of the al fresco rooftop terrace.