lunch at Le Jules Verne- Oct 09
I thought I'd post a few words about my visit to le JV last Monday. I know that many people (myself included) have wondered if this resto is really worth the price. It was my first time, so I cannot comment on whether it has improved since the arrival of Ducasse. Of all the extraordinary restaurants in Paris this was hardly number one on my list, but for years my husband has expressed interest in going, so since it was his birthday I decided to bite the bullet. Because of everything I'd read about JV in the past I had little expectations. The only aspects of the experience I was looking forward to were the "private" elevator and the view; certainly not the food. I have to say I didn't hate the meal. In order to trim down the ridiculous costs, I decided to order the 85 euro lunch menu, while birthday boy opted for ALC. If my memory serves me correctly the lunch menu had about 4-5 choices each for entree, plat and dessert which I found to be generous. We started the meal with beautiful aperitif cocktails. For entree I ordered a cauliflower soup, which was decent but nothing mind-blowing. This was followed by a dish of Bresse chicken, veggies w sauce. Ok, it sounds completely boring but this was absolutely delicious. The chicken was amazingly tender, and the jus light and flavorful. Then for dessert I had something with a fancy name but was actually a glorified baba au rhum with a pretty tasty creme on the side. Then of course the meal was followed by sweet little nibbles. So, the price. Yes it was high. For 2 champagne cocktails, 2 glasses of wine, a bottle of water and food, we paid 275 euros. It was less than I'd feared but certainly more than I really wanted to pay. I agree that 85 euros is not bad for a fine dining lunch menu, but isn't that the same price as lunch at Le Cinq (which I am dying to try by the way) which according to many of you Hounds has fantastic food? I WILL say that the service at JV was absolutely impeccable, no complaints there. But I had amazing service and food that rocked my world two nights prior at La Table d'Eugene for a third of the price. It's true that you do have a nice view at JV, although we were facing the Montparnasse Tour which was a bit of an eyesore. I reserved only 4 days in advance, so maybe if I'd tried earlier I would have had a better view. Oh, I forgot to mention the complimentary madeleines they give you on your way out of the resto. We did a taste test at home and Bonne Maman's maddies win hands down. :) So will I go back, even if promised an even better view? No. But for a special occasion it really can be a nice experience. Just ignore the prices and the jeans and running shoes-clad diners sitting near you.
It would be interesting to know what the birthday boy chose à la carte... I have been there several time (for lunch only) and enjoyed it every time. As for running-shoes and jeans, never seen them (everybody with jackets, and most with ties, even the Americans). Or may be they have a special section with the worst view also for these people and having booked late you ended there... Wherever you sit the view over Paris alone is worth the price for me (and the lift ticket and the not-so-good madeleines are free!).
You are probably right that having a less exciting view is in direct relation to securing a last minute reservation. As for birthday boy's order he chose the boeuf tournedos w/ foie gras and souffled potatoes, and for dessert a chocolaty wonder with a praline croustillant. This dessert was pretty fabulous. All minor complaints aside, it was a delightful experience. I think because I've spent so much time the past year reading this board that finally now that I'm living in Paris I may have unreasonably high expectations whenever I dine out.