Red (raspberries), white (wine) and blue (lobster) — and possibly, by special request, one very well done faux filet steak — will be on order tomorrow when French President Emmanuel Macron takes the Trumps out to dinner.
Instead of a state dinner inside the Elysées Palace, the two presidents and their wives will dine informally at chef Alain Ducasse’s Le Jules Verne, PEOPLE has learned.
The President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are escaping to Paris – just a few days after returning to the U.S. from Germany for the G20 summit – amid growing controversy over Donald Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney –whom he believed carried information damning information the Russian government obtained on Hillary Clinton. The trip also comes at a time of increasing uncertainty over Senate Republicans’ efforts to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
In Paris for two days to observe the French Bastille Day celebrations, Trump will fit dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant into his crowded schedule. The trip also includes a visit to Napoleon’s Tomb at Invalides, a joint press conference with Macron after meetings at the Elysées, and taking in the annual July 14 Champs-Elysées parade.
The invitation from Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron continues an ongoing tradition in which the French presidents treat the United States leaders to a meal at a notable Paris restaurant. President Chirac hosted a dinner at L’Ami Louis in 1999 for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Obama and Hollande shared a meal in 2015 at the Marais’ L’Ambroisie.
Le Jules Verne is fine dining on the Eiffel Tower’s second floor. It offers unparalleled views of Paris, beginning with the ride in its private elevator through the struct-work of the Tower’s South Pillar. First opened in 1983, Le Jules Verne was completely redone in 2007.
But, how’s the food?
For a place holding one-star Michelin rank, cuisine isn’t bad and pretty fairly priced. The restaurant received its star in 2009 and has held it since. For anyone looking for an inspiring once-in-your-life meal, Le Jules Verne offers an acceptably priced $115 lunch.
Resident chefs Pascal Féraud and Eric Azoug propose a menu of traditional French dishes with a nod towards Ducasse’s Mediterranean stylings. Currently available menus propose blue lobster with tomatoes and black olives, sea bream and free-range fowl with chickpeas and sorrel.
Ordinarily, desserts include an apricot souffle with herbal tea ice cream, raspberry-hibiscus millefeuille, or the crispy “Tower Nut,” a signature chocolate dish.
For the twin Presidential visit coming on the eve of France’s national holiday, in a restaurant which offers gold dust on its Valentine’s Day desserts, guests can expect something tweaked with shades of red, white and blue.
Dinners tend to be a five or six-course prix fixe affairs, running between $215 and $265, tip included. There’s also over 400 bottles on a wine list overseen by Amar Chebrek, the restaurant’s sommelier for 25 years. Service is labor-intensive and assured by a restaurant staff of 105, serving a maximum of 120 diners.
In stepping up into the stars for dinner, Emmanuel, Brigitte, Donald and Melania will be joining any number of celebrity couples who’ve found their ways to the Jules Verne. The restaurant has hosted Michelle Obama with her mother and daughters, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon. Two years ago, Rihanna brought her mother.