Paris reviews: lunch near the Marmottan museum
Everyone knows that the Marmottan is one of Pariss hidden treasures. So well hidden, in fact, that few people have actually been there. Paris-bound art lovers forget that, to have any hope of seeing the Monets and Claudels, they need not only a detailed map and a handheld GPS receiver, but a reliable compass as well. Without this last useful instrument (invented by the ancient Phoenicians, who also invented money) they can easily end up wandering around the Trocadero, asking for directions from passers-by who, more often than not, are also trying to find the Marmottan.
Regardless of whether they ever get to the museum, visitors have to eat lunch. This applies also to persons who are lucky enough to attend meetings at the nearby headquarters of the OECD. Basically, the situation is dire, since the area around the La Muette metro station is very badly served, even by the miserable standards that prevail in Paris. But, like old Tiresias, you reviewer has foresuffered all, and out of bitter experience has distilled this useful set of capsule reviews:
31 rue Vital / +33 1 45 20 33 00
See the recent full Chowhound review. Pricey.
Le Bistrot des Vignes
1 rue Jean Bologne / +33 1 45 27 76 64
Probably the best of the bunch. A nice middle ground between leaden traditional amd gimmicky modern.
71 avenue Paul Doumer / +33 1 45 04 12 81
Seafood only, but quite competent. Of special interest is the 19th century French brothel color scheme.
Le Relais du Bois
1 rue Guy de Maupassant / +33 1 45 04 27 60
Very, very traditional, but good execution. Sort of a Jurassic Parc of a restaurant.
9 rue Nicolo / +33 1 42 88 77 86
Reliable general-purpose Japanese.
Le Bois Le Vent
59 rue Boulainvilliers / +33 1 45 27 62 23
10 rue Mignard / +33 1 45 03 01 19
OK, NOT GREAT:
8 Chaussée de la Muette / +33 1 42 88 50 05
12 avenue Mozart / +33 1 45 27 62 45
Bustling, picturesque. Was once great, but the new owners have gone over to the Dark Side.
19 Chaussée de la Muette / +33 1 42 15 15 31
Some people like the yup-scale atmosphere, but it makes this reviewers teeth ache. Noted for its arrogant young staff.
GOOD FOR PICKING UP A SANDWICH/SALAD FOR A PICNIC NEAR THE LA FONTAINE STATUE:
La Flute Enchantée
7 avenue Mozart
6 Chaussée de la Muette
SPECIAL WARNING: ON NO ACCOUNT EAT HERE:
Settebello (formerly the over-rated Natachef, now completely useless)
Le Flandrin (nasty upscale underworld dive: tacky gold jewellery, double-parked Porsche SUVs, etc.)
Pasta e Vino
Le Parc de la Muette (particularly vile!)
The Brasserie (the line is for lottery tickets, not food)
Any Greek or Chinese place, or take-out sushi
It would be impossible to list all of the other third- and fourth-rate dumps that populate this part of the 16th arrondissement, and that masquerade as bistrots, brasseries or restaurants. The reader is simply asked to believe that any establishment that is not listed above isnt worth a damn.
(Where phone numbers are given, best to reserve or at least call ahead)
Thanks to Moshulu for this really useful guide to a part of Paris that really has its ups and down which show that the well-heeled are can be easily taken in.
In fairness, there are a few others which can make the list of the good. Non Solo Cucina at 135 rue du Ranelagh does great Sicilian food and has a good wine list - slightly over priced but that's the 16th effect. There's also a place directly across the road from Le Bistrot des Vignes (forgotten the name)which is not bad if you like duck - foie, cuisse, gesiers, etc and the prices are reasonable.
For serious picnics in the Ranelagh park later in the year (amazing sight, for Paris, of Indian guys playing cricket at lunch time - has to be illegal here), don't forget the Marche de Passy but watch that they close smartly at one o'clock.
La Gare has gone seriously downhill in my opinion and should be transferred to the last category.
i strongly do recommend LA PINEDE for a great lebanese experience. The restaurant is run by a family and offers a wide choice of mezzes, brochettes and desserts. we have been regular clients for more than a year now and we still appreciate this lebanese atmosphere. The also have a good catering serices with various formulas. A top choice for lebanese cuisine lovers in Paris!
Thanks again, Moshulu, for the reviews and historical references. Since I will be staying in the 16eme,I will certainly make the effort to include (and avoid)some of your selections. Is casual attire appropriate for these selections? I don't often wear business attire when exploring Paris on foot and I was hoping to avoid packing too much for a short visit.
For lunch, casual would be fine. At dinnertime, I recommend something more elegant, unless you are just going to a very simple bistrot or cafe.
Europe is dressier that the US, that's all there is to it. You wouldn't go on a hiking vacation without your boots, so why come to Paris without nice shoes and a skirt?
Thanks Moshulu! Filed away for my next trip to Paris. I too love the Marmottan. I remember wandering around Ranleigh (?sp) Park and finally sitting down on a bench to eat my wisely prepurchased picnic. It was worth the trip as they say in the Guide. I try to get to the museum at least every other time I'm in Paris.