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Lunch near the Grand Palaia

t
travelluver Nov 17, 2009 09:13 AM

Looking for a spot for lunch near the Grand Palais.
The caveat - I have tickets to the Renoir exhibit there
on New Year's Day. I know there was another thread
asking for lunch suggestions for that day, but none
were near the Grand Palais.

Help!! ...and thanks!!

  1. Laidback Nov 17, 2009 01:10 PM

    One possibility is Chez Francis with its scenic location on Place de l'Alma.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Laidback
      d
      Dodo Nov 17, 2009 09:52 PM

      You could go for a bite over to the Petit Palais (Gilles Choukroun's place called Mini Palais). When you enter the Petit Palais right opposite the Grand Palais, just ask for a 'laisser-passer' and you can go to the café via the patio. Nice cold and warms snacks, soups, salads, desserts, etc. in a pretty trendy and relaxing atmosphere.
      Not cheap, but very 'soigné'. Plat du jour, 1 glass of wine, 1 coffee: 20€ to give you an example.
      BTW, in the summer time, it's the perfect place on the terrace surrounded by palm trees. An oasis in the middle of bustling Paris.

      For more info incl. the menu (in French only):
      http://www.minipalais.com/

      BTW, even with a time-slot for Renoir, be prepared for it being packed inside.
      Also, if you have time, do not miss the Istanbul-Byzance exhibit, at the Grand Palais as well. Superb exhibit extremely well presented and a lot less crowded. I liked it even better than Renoir.

      1. re: Dodo
        o
        olivierb Nov 17, 2009 10:33 PM

        This might just be a matter of having different tastes, but I would never, ever, recommend Mini Palais to anyone. Unless I'm specified the most important thing is the setting, and not the food.

        I'm probably a bit harsh, as it was not plain bad, just totally uninteresting.

        1. re: olivierb
          d
          Dodo Nov 17, 2009 10:42 PM

          I recommend Mini Palais, mainly because it's VERY conveniently located either before, after or between two exhibits at the Grand Palais. The sandwiches, etc. are ok and the place is an oasis. As you say, don't expect a culinary highlight, but a convenient place to sit and rest for a while and sip a glass of wine or whatever.

          1. re: Dodo
            souphie Nov 17, 2009 11:08 PM

            That's a bit disapointing from a chef like Choukroun, I must say.

        2. re: Dodo
          PhilD Nov 18, 2009 10:29 AM

          I thought the "Mini Palais" was in the Grand Palais.

          The cafe in the Petite Palais is the "Café Le jardin du Petit Palais" it is very nice but really only a museum cafe and not a place for a serious lunch (it also fits Dodo's description — modern room, nice garden/terrace). The Petite Palais is free entry for the permanent collection, you only pay for exhibitions, no need for a special entry ticket.

          I also thought the Mini Palais was going to be a very trendy pop-up restaurant with a finite lifetime, reviews I read described an indoor room with funky chandeliers, etc, which isn't Dodo's description. It opened in 2007, is it still going? (the web site doesn't seem to work).

          1. re: PhilD
            d
            Dodo Nov 18, 2009 09:51 PM

            Phil, thanks so much. Indeed, I was talking about the café at the Petit Palais. For some reason, I had sort of a black-out yesterday.
            Anyway, on the next occasion, I'll have a look at Choukroun's place, should it still be there. (I looked for a café in the Grand Palais and walked all around it, when I visited the two exhibitions lately, but couldn't find any...).

            And Choukroun's web site (given above) works. I usually check, before posting one. ;o) After having looked at the photos again, it looks a bit similar to 'my' café, maybe the same interior designer...

            1. re: Dodo
              t
              travelluver Nov 20, 2009 07:08 AM

              Thanks again to everyone for their input! So Dodo, the place you are recommending is the Cafe Le Jardin du Petit Palace in the Petit Palais,
              not the Mini Palais in the Grand Palais?

              Also, Laidback...website for Chez Francis?

              1. re: travelluver
                d
                Dodo Nov 20, 2009 07:17 AM

                travelluver,
                Yes.
                Re. Chez Francis, try to find with Google FRANCE!!
                A nice brasserie (very casual) is next door called Le Grand Corona, and cheaper also. They have the usual stuff like composed salads, different croques, omelettes, daily specials, etc.

                Here you go (google is your friend):
                http://www.chezfrancis-restaurant.com/

      2. souphie Nov 17, 2009 09:45 AM

        You're in trouble. This is the Champs Elysées neighborhood. Good inexpensive options in the neighborhood are few, and they are in the nearby office areas. But on a holiday that is also a saturday...

        Senderens' bar should be open, I would try that. Or, to be fair, I would pick a decent Champs-Elysées snack (I have a secret crush on Flam's and Cosi) or move to a different neighborhood. Or I would upgrade to fine dining at le Cinq, of course.

        3 Replies
        1. re: souphie
          t
          travelluver Nov 17, 2009 10:14 AM

          Thanks for your info. I was afraid it might be very difficult. Perhaps we will have lunch near where we are staying in the Marais, or just eat in before our heading our to the exhibition.

          1. re: souphie
            k
            kfoster21 Nov 17, 2009 12:45 PM

            Isn't New Year's Day on Friday? Does that expand the options?

            1. re: kfoster21
              souphie Nov 17, 2009 08:34 PM

              It is and it does. Some. L'Arpège is open.

          2. t
            travelluver Nov 17, 2009 09:16 AM

            and oops, that's Grand PalaiS in the subject - sorry!!

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