How ‘The Menu’ got the horrors of high-end fine dining right: ‘What is really awful about The Menu is the fact it’s not authentic,’ she said. ‘It’s not authentic for a number of reasons, the most significant of which is it’s not authentic. It’s a parody of French cooking.’
But the dish has its supporters. ‘I love it, it’s wonderful,’ said one diner who came alone and was accompanied by a friend. ‘Every time we go to The Menu we go alone. You’d be amazed what a difference it makes — people feel a bit more relaxed.’
We’re not sure if we’d agree with that. For starters, we can’t imagine it’s a big hit at home.
Cristina was the last of our guests to leave and the only woman, a friend who came up with us. After the drinks were served she left by herself, but as we were waiting for her to leave her companion came over to us and asked us to leave with her, saying that he had been enjoying our company a lot. We declined, and told her we were leaving with her and had to go — but then she said we could stay if she could find someone to accompany us to our car, which she did. She then asked me if I would accompany her to the car and I said no.
‘The Menu’ is, to be charitable, slightly more authentic than the usual meal — not because of the food, which is, if anything, mediocre, but because it’s in the tradition of the great old grand hotels in France.
‘I’m sure if you look at the menu it’s authentic,’ said Daniel, my boss, who has eaten in every one of them in the country.
‘Sure, but what is really awful about The Menu is the fact it’s not authentic.’
The hotel, the Grande Bretagne, is one of Paris’s great monuments to grandiose, pseudo-French culture, and has