Two of France's most famous names are coming together to give Louvre Abu Dhabi its first restaurant in 2020 (the museum currently has two cafe-style eateries). Parisian brasserie Fouquet’s will debut its UAE branch in the capital, while Michelin-lauded chef Pierre Gagnaire will design the menu. The project is a collaboration between the Louvre and Barriere Group, the hospitality company that owns hotels, resorts, casinos and restaurants in France, St Barts and Marrakech.
Gagnaire, who is the head chef and owner of the eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant at in Paris, already has a Dubai connection. When he opened Reflets at Dubai Festival City in 2008, it quickly became the city's go-to for fine French cuisine. Ten years later, the chef opened the chic Pierre's Bistro & Bar in the same location. If the dishes at his Dubai venture are anything to go by, diners at Fouquet's Abu Dhabi can expect fusion fare cooked using French cuisine techniques. Think madeleines with rosemary and Parmesan, oysters with lemon gel, sardines rillette and banana; eggplant mousse with miso and barley chips, and lobster tortellini with mint and orange butter.
"I believe a good chef can make exceptional dishes with the simplest of ingredients," says the chef, who once described the turnip as the poor man's truffle.
Of course, Fouquet’s has its own Gagnaire-created signature dishes that have stood the test of time and that are bound to be served in Abu Dhabi. We can't wait to sample the sole meuniere pan-fried in butter, Simmental beef fillet with Champs-Elysées sauce and traditional mille-feuille – ideal fare after a visit to the museum, wouldn't you say?
Fouquet’s Paris celebrates its 120th birthday this year, while other branches are located in Cannes, Toulouse and Marrakech. The brasserie is known for its distinctive interior – mahogany wood panelling, plush red and black seating, and ornate, old-school chandeliers – that will define the ambience at Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, even as it "draws inspiration from the museum’s artistic atmosphere".
"Abu Dhabi is known for its collaborations with some of the world’s premier brands and this partnership with Barriere Group is yet another fine example. With the opening of Fouquet’s at Louvre Abu Dhabi next year, the museum continues to bring unique and exceptional experiences to Saadiyat Island," said Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.