BUZZ: Campana at Orsay, Thanksgiving Dinner at Ralph Lauren’s, Antoine, Caffe Burlot

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BUZZ: Campana at Orsay, Thanksgiving Dinner at Ralph Lauren’s, Antoine, Caffe Burlot
Musée d’Orsay, Café Campana, Paris 7th The Musée d’Orsay is the talk of the town’s art afficionadoes. The much-loved former railway station created in Beaux-Arts style by Victor Laloux for the Exposition Universelle 1900 has undergone major transformations over the last two years. The former gare d’Orsay relaunched in 1986 as a museum showcasing French nineteenth-century art and sculpture, with bold interior design by architect Gae Aulenti, a perfect fusion of form and content. A super success from day one, long lines formed outside to pay homage to, say, Manet‘s Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’Herbe and awesome works by Rodin, Monet, Renoir, Pisarro, Van Gogh, et al. And, talking Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, there are three watering holes for hungry artistas: On Level 1, Café du Lion, a basement canteen for fast food. Level 2, The Restaurant, also transforms to a tea room on Thursday from 2:45-5.30 pm. And, on Level 5 of the new Pavilion Amont that leads from the new Impressionist Gallery, the handsome three-dimensional, 180-seater, Café Campana with futuristic décor by the Brazilian Campana Brothers, Fernando and Humberto. A provocative jumble of orange twisted coated wire fencing, sea anemone chairs by Edra and the magnificent station clock as the focal point. Note the blue aquarium effect, read: Jules Verne meets the Matrix. But what about the food? Perfect for the ladies who do. Carrot & coriander soup. PPP: Penne rigate, Parma Ham, Parmesan and Pesto. Croq’ Monsieur. Wok-fried beef and Chinese noodles. A kir royale (12€). Then Salade Niҫoise with a glass of Château Roubine rosé Côtes de Provence (8€ or 32 a bottle). Salmonistas should get the “Tout est bon dans le saumon.” Marinated, smoked, cooked, roe, blinis & tzatziki. Caesar Salad or Cheese by Quatrehomme. Desserts include Chocolat or Café Liégeois. Coupe Copacabana, tarte du jour, giant éclair and, mmmm, mini Opéra, mini Financier (no darling, cake, not Jérôme Kerviel) or a mini fig sablé. Chef Yann Landureau says he’ll create dishes to match exhibitions, but it’s early days. Go there for the adventure of the new Musée d’Orsay, to get turned on by probably the best museum of its type in the world. C’est ҫa Paris—j’adore. PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Le Café Campana at Musée d’Orsay – museum ticket required for admission Tél: 01 40 49 48 14 1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 7th Métro: Assemblée National, Solférino RER: Line C, station: Musée d’Orsay BUS: see map Museum entry fee: 8€ Café Campana Open: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am-5pm; Thursdays open 10am-9pm Average Spend: 53€ for three courses + wine Accessibility: Wheelchair friendly; see map Exhibition through 15th January: Beauté, morale et volupté dans l’Angleterre d’Oscar Wilde Antoine, Paris 16th Appropriate, a fish restaurant on the quai opposite the Seine, n’est-ce pas, chérie? “After an absence of nearly a century, Atlantic salmon have returned to France’s Seine River, with hundreds swimming past the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame cathedral this year alone,” researchers said. Salmon in the city! In 2010 Antoine reeled in Pudlo‘s “Restaurant of the Year” award with special mention for the open “aquarium” kitchen, le boat-shaped bar and the “neon poisson” sculpture on the wall. “Antoine Vigneron is the captain and founder of the restaurant, creating his own address after 15 years spent at Le Bristol, he’s now the Fish King of Paris,” Pudlo says. Wearing the whites is Michelin-starred Chef Mickaël Feval, enchanted with all things piscatorial, he gets up  at four in the morning to find the best in the market. Feval’s is up there with Saint Peter, a fisher of men. His backstory’s impressive, learning with Briffard (rigeur), the late Loiseau (joie de vivre), Antoine Westermann (creativity), Bruno Oger (imagination) and Thierry Barot (conviviality). “The seasons decide my menus,” he says. “At present it’s oysters and oursins, daurade and daurade royale we’re working.” Plus on the lunch menu this week: Maquereaux mi-cuit au raifort, légumes, pickles to begin. Pavé de cabillaud rôti, Carottes parisiennes aux zestes de clémentine. To finish: Velouté poire, biscuit cacao, glace fève de Tonka. But don’t ignore the signature Bouillabaisse de petite pêche, rouille au safran du Quercy de Mr Chevalier. “Bouiller” (to boil) and “abaisser” (to reduce). Starters include Tataki de Bonite Sarda-Sarda, autour des betteraves de Mr Thiebault (see photo).  Carpaccio de Maigre de ligne, Caviar Osciètre et blinis. But, be warned, portions are enormous. The Bar de ligne de Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is grilled over fennel and flamed before it comes to table with purée de Rattes du Touquet. It’s enough for four and they don’t do doggie bags here—it’s much too raffiné, darling. Carnivores can have chicken from Les Landes or Ris de Veau Rôti, risotto aux cèpes, jus de veau à la betterave, poêlée de girolles. Goat’s cheese is from Père Fabre and les Comtés from Marie Quatrehomme, great bread by Poujauran, butter by Monsieur Bordier. Chef Pâtissier Franҫois Régien (ex-Lasserre, Ledoyen, Marius & Janette, Westermann, has a light touch with the likes of Soufflé chaud à la passion, coulis de fruit de la passion, sorbet passion and Pomme Reine des Reinettes flambée au Calvados, sorbet Granny Smith. Wines, by the glass, from 6-16€. Try the tangerine perfumed Saint-Joseph “Grand Duc” Domaine du Monteillet 2010 at 9€ or 50€ a bottle. Or the red…
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Lead photo credit : Inside the Orsay museum

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !

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