Where to Eat Now in Paris: Le Train Bleu, Brasserie d’Auteuil, Fauchon, Cucina Mutualité

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Where to Eat Now in Paris: Le Train Bleu, Brasserie d’Auteuil, Fauchon, Cucina Mutualité
“There’s no sentence more exciting in the English language than ‘where shall we go for dinner?’ ” –AA Gill (1954-2016) Le Train Bleu Have you noticed that top toques have adopted or been adopted by @SNCF (France’s national state-owned railway company)? Eric Frechon at Gare Saint Lazare, Thierry Marx at Gare du Nord, Christian LeSquer coming soon to Rennes, Michel Roth in Metz, and Alain Ducasse at the Gare Montparnasse in 2019. Recently Michel Rostang has refreshed the menu at arguably the most romantic of all the train station brasseries in the world, the Belle Epoque Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon, showcasing Lyonnais and Mediterranean cuisine. Gare de Lyon was built for the Paris exhibition of 1900, along with the glass-domed Grand Palais and Petit Palais off the Champs-Élysées. The Buffet de la Gare opened in 1901 and in 1963 became Le Train Bleu from the train that transported the rich, famous, you and I, to the Riviera. Hemingway, Dali, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Cocteau, Coco Chanel and Jean Gabin were regulars. Immortalized in many films such as the 1972 Travels with My Aunt, based on the Graham Greene novel – from the restroom spy on the departing trains! Le Menu du Voyageur (€49 + wine by the glass from €9-€21) can be served in 45 minutes. And, at lunch and dinner, Menu du Train Bleu is €110 with wine pairings. A La Carte about €69 + wine. We loved game and foie gras pâté en croute with fig chutney. House (lightly) smoked salmon, beetroot and granny Smith tartar with horseradish cream. And regal, regional, roast lamb carved at the table from the shiny silver Christofle trolley with Michel Rostang’s signature Gratin Dauphinoise. Fabulous desserts by Thierry Jolly – rum baba, house made citrus punch, Chantilly! Place Louis Armand, 12th. Metro: Gare de Lyon. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 43 09 06. Open 7/7 Brasserie d’Auteuil This chic bar-restaurant-terrace, located in the former Auteuil train station, is buzzing with “ze beautiful pipole” ordering Instagram-worthy pizzas and pastas, rum cocktail (and mocktails), while discussing their latest culinary journeys/the new Isabel Marant makeup (her)/ where to get the Porsche serviced (him). Average spend €44 + drinks. With sparkling design by Laura Gonzalez, the brasserie extends over several airy spaces – the bucolic penthouse snugly heated in winter. We loved Planche de 4 Pizzetas, truffled Burrata, Cæsar Salad d’Auteuil, Beef Tartare Profiteroles d’Auteuil, Café Gourmand and the “forget all your troubles, we’re here to party” atmosphere. 78 rue d’Autheuil, 16th. Metro: Porte d’Autheuil – Bus no. 52 stops right outside! Tel: +33 (0)1 40 71 11 90. Open 7/7 from 9am-2am. Fauchon L’Hotel In a handsome Haussmannian mansion, opposite the neo-classical Church de la Madeleine (1842), Fauchon (on place Madeleine since 1886) recently launched the brand’s first “gourmet” hotel with a Carita spa. Following three years of digging and a hefty 35 – 40 M € of investment, there are 37 airy rooms and 17 suites designed by architect Richard Martinetin the signature Fauchon hot fuschia pink and black colors (from €650 – €3,000 per night). Note the unique in-room mini bars stocked with complimentary goodies and the availability of a private in-suite chef. Guests have a private dining room and the Jardin des Thés for breakfast, tea time etc. and the concierge will arrange, say, Private Shopping Experiences and Private Cruises. “We want to spoil our clients with luxury bespoke Paris experiences,” says Jérome Montantème, Fauchon’s genial General Manager, happy to take guests on his daily early morning run – Tuileries Gardens, anyone? Le Grand Café Fauchon is the main restaurant/terrace open from breakfast to dinner via an afterwork Glam’Hours for delicious food (organic tomatoes from La Bergerie de Rambouillet/Paté en croute Fauchon/Lemon meringue tart) and excellent French wines (Average €50 + wine). 11 place de la Madeleine, 8th. Metro: Madeleine. A member of Leading Hotels of the World. Tel: +33 (0)1 87 86 28 00 Cucina Mutualité Recently opened in the Art-Deco listed Mutualité building, the Italian trattoria by Ducasse Restaurants with GL Events is designed by architect and urban planner Jean-Michel Wilmotte, with a little help from Fréderic Grasser-Hermé, Luca Nichetto and Pierre Tachon. What’s in the open cucina? Simple dishes full of character, just like talented chef Matteo Lorenzini (formerly at Hotel de Paris, Monaco alongside Franck Cerutti). Pizzette (Margherita, what else!), a selection of salumeria (coppa, tagliere di salumi), a wooden planche of charcuterie and cheese, antipasto (octopus potato, caponata, caprese). Mains of Escalope Milanese; risotto, girolles mushrooms; a comforting tangle of Bucatini pasta, pepper and grated cheese; Linguine alle vongole; Capellini all’aragosta (lobster); slow cooked manzo (beef cheeks) or oven baked orata (sea-bream) fennel and lemon confit. Stunning tableware and epic eating irons by Pininfarina pour Mepra. Desserts include grand Italian classics like Tiramisu, Zuppa Inglese, Panna Cotta and chocolate ice cream from Manufacture d’Alain Ducasse. Italian, French, Sicilian wines are by Alain Ducasse and Gérard Margéon, the charismatic “Mr Wine” of Ducasse’s 18 Michelin star eateries. You’ll receive a delightful welcome…

Lead photo credit : courtesy of Le Train Bleu

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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 !


  • Pat Hacker
    2018-11-22 19:02:53
    Pat Hacker
    I ate at Fauchon's new restaurant the first week in November. Service excellent, clean, nice etc, BUT what I picked off the menu was itty bitty. I spent about 24 euro and that included dessert. Maybe I didn't look at the right part of the menu. It was chicken, very small slice, about 2 tablespoons veg and about 2 tablespoons of some kind of potato. Very nice, but did I order from the wrong part of the menu? I could have eaten more.