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Where to eat a nice lunch in Paris?


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Funky is in the eye of the beholder. But the first place I thought about was Aux Trois Oliviers, 37 bis rue Montpensier, across a narrow street from the Palais Royale. It's a small, simple place with good provencal food and the friendliest of owners, Edouard and his lovely wife, who made us feel like family. Chef Bruno does the cooking.

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I’ve never been for lunch, but Le Baratin might fit the description of funky. It’s a very good, hip kind of bistro in the 20th, known for its wines.

Also, le Verre Volé, in the 10th would fit my idea of funky and it’s just a great little place. It’s not really a “real” restaurant though, more of a wine store/wine bar. They serve tapas-style small plates that are very good, but they don’t have a full kitchen.

Le Baratin

3 r. Jouye-Rouve

20th

Le Verre Volé

67 rue de Lancry

10th

Edited by Felice (log)

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Funky food? Funky decor? Funky crowd?

I had to make a similar decision last year, and chose L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon despite some reservations based on mixed reviews. One sits counter style in a heavily Oriental inspired atmosphere. Food is very good, and, depite what many say, I thought that the service was quite nice. Funky food-yes. Funky decor-well, somewhat. Funky crowd-no.

Despite what many report, you can call ahead and make a reservation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Au Gourmand, 22 rue de Vaugirard, 6th, tel 01.43.26.26.45. This is a very good restaurant that we think should have more buzz than it gets. They speak English willingly and have a no smoking section (it is a small space so smoke could be an issue). The service and décor are on the formal side but I’ve always felt comfortable without a coat or tie for lunch. Ingredients are of the finest quality and the kitchen does some fine things with them. I started with an oyster tartare, which was raw oysters, smoked fish, what I guessed was chopped celery, and flavored with what I guessed was avocado and lemon. It was a very, very good dish. My wife had tomatoes three ways: gazpacho, a sorbet, and a tarte. Very interesting preparations. We both had the daily special of pigeon. We each had the entire pigeon served with polenta with chestnuts. Desserts were chocolate three ways (dark, darker, and even better?) and a pain perdu. I remembered the pain perdu differently from a past visit. I’ll order the chocolate next time we go. Three courses were 31 euros with an 8 euro supplement for the daily special of pigeon. They offer a two-course combination, but I didn’t notice the price. The total for the two of us with a Kir, a 40 euro bottle of wine (they have a number of half bottles listed), and two coffees was 136 euros.

Louis Vins, 9 rue de la Montagne, 5th . We went for Monday lunch. The menu written in English out front should have chased us off but we went in. The surprise was that there were only French speakers in the restaurant. The ingredient quality wasn’t very good and the kitchen didn’t do much besides add pepper to the dishes. I had the daily special of partridge, which had no flavor except the char from the grill, and my wife had col vert (wild duck) that had no distinct flavor of the duck. The partridge was served on a bed of chopped cabbage with the flavor of white pepper while the duck was served on slices of braised turnip that my wife said were old and woody. Two course menu at 23 euros with a daily special menu at about 18 euros, but it’s money and a meal wasted in Paris. Since you shouldn’t go don’t worry about it being cash only.

Les Magnolias, 48 avenue de Bry, Le Perreux-sur-Marne tel 01.48.72.47.43 . This place is the best ! We walk away from this restaurant saying “let’s see what Keller (French Laundry) does to compare to this meal”. The chef is one of the most inventive we’ve found both at menu descriptions and what he presents on the plate. That, along with some very interesting flavors, along with a parade of amuses throughout the meal make for a wonderful experience. Foods for this meal included a mussel starter, a rabbit starter, pigeon main, a lamb main, a “Lego block” of rice pudding and churros with chocolate sauce and orange marmalade. The extras included what we call “pop rock salad” (a tiny salad with lemony “pop rocks”), a layered orange/almond/cherry gelatin shot, fried lovage with curry mustard cream, risotto with mushroom essence, orange green tea, a fried asparagus, mustard and greens sandwiched in a honey-flavored mini-macaron (a favorite), mint custard, Ricard with cream shot, and mignardises. Too much fun, so much good food. I think he cooks his lamb too much but this is a meal of so many dimensions and layers that you go with the flow of things. Service is formal but friendly and English is spoken. At lunch I wore a sports coat but it came off before the first course. The menu was 50 euros, there was a lower cost menu (37 I think) for a starter and plat or plat and dessert. With a Kir, a 60 euro bottle of wine, and two coffees the tab for two came to 177 euros. Take the RER E to Nouget sur Perreux , a 30-min. ride and walk about 5 min. The web site is www.lesmagnolias.com

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  • 1 year later...

There are several threads that discuss lunch options in Paris. It depends on if you have any special requirements. Some discuss recommendations if you only have one lunch, others good value, others high end.

If nothing there fits the bill, can you give us a better idea of what you're looking for - typically french? location? price range? etc.

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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I'm just looking for somewhere that is representative of a good meal. Price, at this point, is irrelevant. I was looking forward to trying to get a table at L'Astrance, but was told that they are closed on Tuesdays. I'll be taking a train to London that evening and enjoying lunch at the Fat Duck on Wednesday before returning home to the states.

I thought of lunch at Le Meurice, but wasn't sure if there were any other options. If not, there's always Cafe Constant.

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There are several threads  that discuss lunch options in Paris.  It depends on if you have any special requirements.  Some discuss recommendations if you only have one lunch, others good value, others high end

If nothing there fits the bill, can you give us a better idea of what you're looking for - typically french? location? price range? etc.

Forest hit the nail on the head. You've got everything on the France Forum from Gagnaire, old and a lotta food to Spring, new and inventive, from chains to independants, from multi-stars to unfound places and remember- 5 places open here or get new owners or chefs a week. Almost every place that serves dinner serves lunch, it's just cheaper and more likely to have French not foreign customers.

Again, to repeat Forest, what are you looking for? A confit de carard with potatoes, couscous, steak/frites, fish soup, a slab of beef, tartare, haute, bourgeois, edgy, classic, inventive, bistro, brasserie; we got it all, and at lunch.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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There are several threads  that discuss lunch options in Paris.  It depends on if you have any special requirements.  Some discuss recommendations if you only have one lunch, others good value, others high end

If nothing there fits the bill, can you give us a better idea of what you're looking for - typically french? location? price range? etc.

Forest hit the nail on the head. You've got everything on the France Forum from Gagnaire, old and a lotta food to Spring, new and inventive, from chains to independants, from multi-stars to unfound places and remember- 5 places open here or get new owners or chefs a week. Almost every place that serves dinner serves lunch, it's just cheaper and more likely to have French not foreign customers.

Again, to repeat Forest, what are you looking for? A confit de carard with potatoes, couscous, steak/frites, fish soup, a slab of beef, tartare, haute, bourgeois, edgy, classic, inventive, bistro, brasserie; we got it all, and at lunch.

John,

To be honest with you, it's been a few years since I was last in Paris and that last time, I did the same thing -- pass through. It would be great to have a meal that is memorable in its own way. The type of food doesn't matter, nor does price as I have mentioned above.

I'm really just looking for something that will make me want to come back.

I've also heard a lot of good things about Spring and understand that they don't do lunch on Tuesdays either.

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If you are into wine, there is a big wine store called Lavinia that has a restaurant upstairs. I had the best steak tartare with a baby arugula salad on the side that was my favorite lunch of my trip there in May. You can also drink wine for the retail price without the markup. 3-5, boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris

Telephone: 014 2972020. Lavinia website

Edited to add pictures from my meal:

Tartare

gallery_41537_5060_32434.jpg

Arugula salad with the most delightfully chewy sun-dried tomatoes

gallery_41537_5060_16291.jpg

Lobster salad

gallery_41537_5060_22134.jpg

Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)
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I'm really just looking for something that will make me want to come back.

Boy, that's a challenge. I cannot think of many places beloved by our members/residents that wouldn't seduce one back. The list is simply too long to give here but can be surmised from prior/existing topics.

I'm not sure if Janet MacDonald was referring to me when she wrote

Anyone who thinks Astrance is not the epitome of fine French dining probably had their taste buds honed on spam and Kool-Aid
but I'm apparently the only soul on eGullet or on earth for that matter who disagrees. In any case, it is open on Tuesday, so go and tell us. But almost any starred place should make you want to return, I guess for lunch I'd chose les Ambassadeurs, le Bristol + le Meurice.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I guess for lunch I'd chose les Ambassadeurs, le Bristol + le Meurice.

I can't imagine you wouldn't be happy with the les Ambassadeurs, le Bristol or le Meurice.

The poulet en vessie (below) I had at the Bristol last year for lunch was probably the best chicken dish I have ever had.

gallery_7346_2565_13984.jpg

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I would agree with Le Bristol for lunch, food excellent, set menu cheap(ish) and the best service I have ever experienced. Also if the weather is good it certainly adds to the enjoyment.

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Georges at the Pompidou Centre and Jule Verne at the Eiffel Tower both offer fine food and wonderful views of Paris from on high. Benoit can be delightful for a bistro lunch with the sun streaming through the windows.

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I have lunch booked at Le Grand Vefour in November.  Is there a dress code ?  Can I dress in smart casual or do I need a jacket & tie ?

Are you a banker? Come in a tie.

Are you a film star? Come in a fitted black teeshirt and jeans.

I'm serious. Since 1968, at the very best places the dress goes from most conservative to most schlumpy.

When I go to a place like the Grand Vefour I wear a tie, when I go to the Terminus Nord I wear an open collared shirt, when I go to my neighborhood dump, I wear a teeshirt.

Part of it is what you'll be comfotrtable in with a lot of businessfolk around you. Chez Guy Martin ain't Kid Nation.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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when I go to my neighborhood dump, I wear a teeshirt.

I bet any place you call your neighborhood dump probably has some pretty good eatin' ... :biggrin:

Rather than start a new thread ... my gf and I are going to be in Paris next week with another couple; they are fishatarians on their first trip to Paris who claim they just might give up their political gastronomic stance for the right circumstance. Nevertheless, can someone suggest a place that might specifically allow one to avoid all the random bits of meat that (deliciously, for us; not so much for them) show up in a stellar prix fixe without blowing the lunch or their karma?

Edited by jmhayes (log)
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I have lunch booked at Le Grand Vefour in November.  Is there a dress code ?  Can I dress in smart casual or do I need a jacket & tie ?

Are you a banker? Come in a tie.

Are you a film star? Come in a fitted black teeshirt and jeans.

I'm serious. Since 1968, at the very best places the dress goes from most conservative to most schlumpy.

When I go to a place like the Grand Vefour I wear a tie, when I go to the Terminus Nord I wear an open collared shirt, when I go to my neighborhood dump, I wear a teeshirt.

Part of it is what you'll be comfotrtable in with a lot of businessfolk around you. Chez Guy Martin ain't Kid Nation.

After only one time meeting you all spiffy in turtle neck and tweed I really can't see the teeshirt and jeans :biggrin:

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

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Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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Your post whether or not it is considered rude to make photographs of food in restaurants prompted me to share the following.

I too always feel uncomfortable when taking the photo’s (because it’s so touristy), but I have the impression that in general it’s appreciated by the restaurants. It certainly seemed to be by Monjul and Urbane.

On my last visit to Paris I decided to opt for two-course lunches and to have the dessert with a cup of tea later in the afternoon. These were my favorites.

The lunch “formule” at Monjul at 28 Rue des Blancs Manteaux, 4th, tel. 01 42 74 40 15 was a pleasant surprise. The restaurant’s interior is simple and attractive, the service was attentive and friendly.

The starter of spicy – cold - mussel soup, accompanied by a small cone of whipped cream with a.o. tiny lardons, was surprising and very good.

gallery_27709_5107_8503.jpg

The main course was well seasoned mackerel, served with an herb salad with a dash of a very tasty dressing and little knobs of wasabi.

Imaginative dishes. I spent 20 euros for 2 courses a glass of wine and a coffee.

gallery_27709_5107_440040.jpg

I am particularly enthusiastic about Urbane, 12 Rue Arthus Groussier, 10th,

tel. 01 42 40 74 75. It’s situated in the neighbourhood of the hospital St-Louis, where many little eating places have opened up in the last couple of years. There I enjoyed a great lunch in a simple and pleasant interior. To start off the charming (Irish) hostess brought a carafe of water and three kinds of fresh, warm bread to my table. The starter of tartare de dorade, cucumber, various herbs and roquette was a delightful combination of subtle flavours.

gallery_27709_5107_1007625.jpg

The main course of salmon on a bed of crunchy pak soi and topped with a.o. grapefruit parts was equally good. (I tried to copy it at home, but didn’t come close). The 2 course option of their lunch “formule”, a glass of wine and a coffee added up to 21 euros.

gallery_27709_5107_203899.jpg

On the terrace of the Mini Palais, Perron Alexandre III, Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th, tel. 01 43 56 42 42 (across from the Petit Palais, which is definitely worth a visit) I was served tea with a delicious tarte citron a l’envers.

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On the roof terrace of Les Ombres, above the Musee Quai de Branly in the 7th I drank tea whilst enjoying the view of the nearby Eiffel Tower and this beautiful strawberry tiramisu, the best I ever had.

gallery_27709_5107_452662.jpg

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Marianne, thanks for the post. How lovely to include tea in Parisian pleasures! The afternoon is probably my favorite time to have a light meal in the city, and there is nothing more relaxing, after a day of walking, shopping, visiting, etc., than sitting down to a nice cup of tea with pastries.

Paris is full of interesting places to have tea. I think there should be a thread about it if there isn't one yet.

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Thank you Marianne for a great report and lovely photos.

I'm glad to hear that you liked Monjul. I was interested in trying it but then heard a not so great report and was less eager to try it, but thanks to you I may have to see for myself.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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