Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
robyn

Lunch In La Defense

Recommended Posts

I know some people here think I'm nuts - but I actually travel to do things other than eat :shock: . I like contemporary art - especially large scale art in public places and contemporary gardens - so I think we will spend some time out at La Defense. It doesn't seem like a quaint kind of place where we can wander around and find a charming place to eat lunch - but I assume that all those office buildings have places where people eat lunch. Or perhaps there is a central place with restaurants? Anything worth trying? Certainly doesn't have to be a big deal - just a decent sit-down restaurant with "good eats" - perhaps a cut or two above office "take-out" food. Robyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know some people here think I'm nuts - but I actually travel to do things other than eat  :shock: .  I like contemporary art - especially large scale art in public places and contemporary gardens - so I think we will spend some time out at La Defense.  It doesn't seem like a quaint kind of place where we can wander around and find a charming place to eat lunch - but I assume that all those office buildings have places where people eat lunch.  Or perhaps there is a central place with restaurants?  Anything worth trying?  Certainly doesn't have to be a big deal - just a decent sit-down restaurant with "good eats" - perhaps a cut or two above office "take-out" food.  Robyn

I am afraid the food at La Defense is pretty poor, there ae some places around the plaza but none that I would recommend. However, there is a nice small restaurant a short walk away in Puteaux called "Le Bistrot du Boucher" (106 Rue Republique), it is classic small bistro in a old butchers shop, it is busy at lunch, but you don't need to book, they have a menu and ALC. I don't think I ever saw a tourist there.

La Defense is a nightmare to navigate, especially to get off the plaza (deck) and down to the surrounding areas. Here are my directions (I used to work there):

Facing the city with your back to the Grande Arche, turn right between the Opus 12 and the Ariane building (you are on the Esplanade du Generale due Gaulle). Probably signposted Ile de France.

You head past a big HSBC building (with interestingly architectural wooden fire escapes - worth seeing) towards the Ile de France offices or Parking Villon.

On your left there is a balcony overlooking a small park, you are 6 stories above it, towards the end there is a glass lift, take this down to the ground floor. You may need to wait to get into it as it is controlled by an access pass but it is used all the times so just scoot in after someone else (there is another slightly grotty car park lift further on).

Once on the ground simply walk across the small park, follow the road under the expressway, and bear right at the roundabout heading along rue Republique into the centre of Puteaux. The restaurant has a red front and is opposite the town hall.

This sounds very complex but it isn't that far - maybe a 10 min walk .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil is right, there is not much in La Defense and if you have the time I would get back on the metro and eat in Neuilly or even near Charles de Gaulle. Of course, there are a few basic bistros but they are all over priced and none very good. I work in La Defense and often eat at our cantine, Matsuri or one of two Lebanese places that I like, but I normally skip the bistros. The Safrannée is supposed to good, but expensive. For business lunches many people I know go to Le Monde, which is exceptable but nothing special. Another problem, as Phil mentionned, is trying to explain to someone where something is. There are no streets, just buildings and so giving directions is not easy.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the information. FWIW - there are some pretty good maps of the area (including the location of the art) on this website. I also suspect I can pick up some information at the hotel concierge desk.

I hadn't realized how huge the area is until I looked at the maps (I figured it was maybe the size of Canary Wharf in London but it looks at least 3-4 times larger). I did find a comprehensive list of places to eat in the complex. There are probably a couple of hundred - including casual fast food places. So I doubt we will starve. Seems like the kind of day where we will sightsee and then try to find something simple when we get hungry and our feet start to hurt!

One place that struck me when I looked at the restaurant list is a place called Paul (because it had a web site). Seems like a really big chain. Is it decent (in terms of sandwiches - salads - and the like)? Robyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One place that struck me when I looked at the restaurant list is a place called Paul (because it had a web site).  Seems like a really big chain.  Is it decent (in terms of sandwiches - salads - and the like)?  Robyn

Paul is OK, all over Paris and now in London - good quality sandwiches etc. But it is very much "office take out food". There maybe lots of food outlets (I didn't think 100's), but the quality is pretty poor - for example one of the busiest is McDonalds...!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Felice is quite correct, there's no there there. Fouquet's had (past tense) a branch which was no great shakes anyway but some of the cantines/dining rooms of the great companies are good - for example, that at Soc Gen was terrific when we went a decade ago, but one needs to be invited.

A few minutes away by Tram #2 is Pere Lapin in Suresnes;

6. 0 Pere Lapin, 10, rue de Calvaire in Suresnes (Tram #2 to the Suresnes stop and climb the hill), 01.45.06.72.89, closed Mon & Tues, is sited on Mont Valerian just in front of the Park and while you’re technically outside Paris, it has that suburb yet city feel to it, much like nearby St Cloud/Boulogne-Billancourt, all of which were built in roughly the same styles and periods.. They have a 2-course lunch menu for 20€, 3 are 25€, which is forced choice but looked great, so I took it; it consisted of a magnificent veloute of lentils with tiny slivers of ham, croutons and mascarpone; two small paving stones of bland swordfish with a wonderfully-offsetting grapefruit and orange sauce that redeemed the bland fish, on top a pissaladiere; and three most excellent roast figs stuffed with minced almond accompanied by an ice of verveine. This, plus a pichet of St Chinian and a coffee went for 40.50€. I went on a brilliantly sunny 70-77 degree F. afternoon and sat on the huge terrace and had a great time. I’ll be back - oh, there was lots of fish on the carte as well, bespeaking confidence in his supplier(s). The crowd was a bit too nouveau riche and shirts for me, but hey, that’s the nabe. By the way, an alternate way to go is the #244 bus from the Porte Maillot which goes straight thru and almost non-stop to Suresnes and took less time going back to “town” than the #1 Metro to La Defense and Tram #2 did to Suresnes.

Walking down from the parvis of La Defense is Puteaux, where another place exists that I would discourage you from eating at - l'Escargot;

A 1950’s country truck stop in La Defense

1.0 l’Escargot, 18, rue Charles Lorilleux in Puteaux (essentially La Defense), 01.47.75.03.66, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays, has two menus; offering two dishes for 22 and three for 29 €. In a prior life, I directed a team that examined professional candidates for an advanced credential and I always cautioned the examiners to see two candidates before rating/grading the first so they’d have a better sense of the spread/range. Well, today’s meal set the floor/platform for the month of June. I invited as my guest the contemporary “hostess with the mostest” (does that date me or what?), Phyllis/Felice Flick, thinking that I was doing her a favor by inviting her to walk a mere 400 meters from work to dine at a place I was convinced would duplicate, if not exceed, my charming meal at Pere Lapin just a stop or two further down Tram line #2 in Suresnes last September; wrong! We met at Mitterand’s great arch and while a crow might fly 400 meters to the resto, we walked forever through the most bizarre set of lobbies, underpasses and passerelles I’ve ever seen (PS we had maps from Michelin, Mapquest and Yahoo and they were of no help). The restaurant is in a dumpy neighborhood, looks dumpy from outside and is dumpy within. The bread, however, looked great. The menu was most ample, with daily specials, and the wines were reasonably priced (18 € up). We started with light firsts; she had fine minces of bar cru with “fresh” mint that looked weeks old; I had fine ecrevisses with a great tangy sauce but served with extremely tired salad leaves. Then we both had wonderfully crusty meat, char-grilled - she had a fine product, the entrecote with an OK béarnaise sauce, but I had a dreadful product, a carré d’agneau – but both of our potato dishes were pathetic: undercooked, soggy and tasteless. To add to the roller-coaster experience, our shared crème brulee was great, ditto the coffee. Oh, yah, that great looking bread was awful too. The bill = 75€.

Should One Go? Why? Did you just get divorced, widowed, abandoned and sleep on a couch in your La Defense office? OK. I understand


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad the place you recommend is up the hill - and the place you don't recommend is down the hill! Robyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, there is neither good food nor material for sightseeing more than a couple of hours in La Défense (especially with the Cnit being refurbished) -- just have lunch in Paris, before or after. That's ten minutes away and Briffard has an 85€ lunch menu.


Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...