Casual lunch near Parc Monceau?
I am meeting a friend's friend for the first time this Friday near Parc Monceau, and can't seem to find any restaurant/cafe that's noteworthy either on chowhound or even through basic googling.
Since she has to work after lunch, I'll like to find a place that's within 10 minutes walk from the park, casual and not too expensive, and quiet enough so we can talk. Can fellow chowhounders please help?
Thanks for everyone's responses. To close the loop, we ate at a brasserie called Riva at Place Rio de Janeiro quite packed with the local business crowd that I was glad my friend made a reservation. We were ensconced in the corner of the banquette, so despite the crowd, our table was quite rendezvous-able. The food quite decent, though nothing special. My hamburger was of the knife and fork variety, very generous and juicy.
After lunch, I worked through Parc Monceau and stopped for coffee and a slice of fruit tart at BE boulangepicierie. Its quite a modest looking place, and you would not know the Alain Ducasse relationship if you missed the cookbooks up front or the olive oil bottle labels with his name emblazoned (in discreet green) on. The baked goods are of the simple, homey variety, muffins, some clafoutis and fruit tarts, but quite good. I also brought home a pain de noix generously studded with walnuts that made for a good breakfast today. Oh yest... and when I left, I could smell someone eating the truffle pasta (though it came in a box and cost E8.50, so I'm not sure if its the same as Souphie's) that smelt great.
Both Parigi's and Souphie's suggestions are excellent. But I wish Souphie hadn't given away the secret of Dominique Bouchet's Le Little B self-service cantine. It's only for us Parisiens, ok? :) But busy busy busy at lunch and a high-turnover so not really a place for intimate conversations... just great grub at great prices.
When I go visit friends who live near the Parc Monceau, we often end up at one of the cafés/ brasseries on the avenue Villiers just up from the Villiers métro station: the somewhat pricey Dome de Villiers right on the corner with the rue Lévis or, 50 metres further up the ave Villiers, the better value Le Monceau. The food is hardly amazing but not bad either. And very rendez-vous-able. Oups, almost forgot the new kid on the block, Brigitte at 16 ave Villiers, gets the adjectives sweet and charming, and seduced me with a terrine de boudin aux pommes on my last visit for a very conspiratorial dinner. The set lunch runs about 20 € so not bad at all.
Although maybe a wee bit too far and a wee bit too expensive (30 to 40 € formule) for lunch , Rostang's Bistrot d'à Côté Flaubert on the rue Gustave Flaubert a 10-minute walk north of the Monceau métro station is another option for a lovely chatty lunch. It seems to have dropped off everybody's radar but I'm always quite amazed by how much I like it whenever I end up there.
BE on bd de Courcelles, Ducasse's bakery-spice shop-lunch place, has, among other things, great truffle pasta for not much (like 16€ or something). On rue Treilhard, Dominique Bouchet opened an excellent "self", where I ate for 18€ last week. Across the street from BE, the brasserie whose name I don't remember is quite good,especially the meat. Of course there's le Gourmet de Ternes, an exemplary bistrot, but it is not cheap. There is also an avaanche of salad bars around Saint Philippe du Roule and on rue La Boëtie, some of them very acceptable such as Il Caffe on av. Myron Herrick.
A very nearby lunch spot is the café in the Musée Jacquemart-André. From the south gate of the parc, it is a 7-minute walk, according to Google map.
The food is not head-turning gastronomy (but absolutely sexy pastry). However, you dine on very pleasant quiche and salad, underneath a huge Tiepolo. How often does one dine under a Tiepolo?
One can't reserve. Better get there by 12, or be prepared to queue.