Restaurants in Paris - Eric Knowles's picks

By Rosanna Holmes,
4th March 2010 - 17:07
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Looking for a fantastic restaurant in Paris? Or a place to pick up a bargain? Antiques guru Eric Knowles spills the haricots
 
Le Train Bleu
Place Louis Armand 75012
00 33 1 43 43 09 06.
Metro Gare de Lyon
 
The “Le Train Bleu” is not just any old station eatery - this is a place to eat in style. Opened at the time of the famous Paris Exposition Universal in 1900, the magnificent Belle Epoch interior might be considered to be the epicureal answer to Versailles, such is the palatial splendour and grand scale of the place.
Eagle-eyed readers might also recognise the interior as the restaurant setting for the comedy film Mr Bean’s Holiday.
 
La Fermette Marbeuf 1900
5 rue Marbeuf 75008
00 33 1 53 23 08 00
Metro Franklyn D Roosevelt
 
The splendid interior here is the result of a remarkable discovery back in 1978 when workmen broke through a wall of a storeroom in what had been the Hotel Langham in the Rue Boccador. Although in a state of neglect what they found was a totally authentic and relatively undisturbed Art Nouveau interior.
In 1982 this was united with a sister building that had once been a conservatory and eventually the two were amalgamated into the present day fairytale restaurant that is quite literally a feast for the eye.
 
One word of advice however – call and specify at least three or four days in advance if you wish to dine in the ‘1900 Room’.

 

 

Le Montparnasse 1900
59 Boulevard du Montparnasse
00 33 1 45 49 1900
Metro Montparnasse-Bienvenue
 
Situated on the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Rue Du Rennes Montparnasse 1900 was for many years part of the Bistro de la Gare chain.
 
The interior is once again pure unadulterated Art Nouveau with colourful tube lined tiles and no shortage of shaped and bevelled mirrors. The various set lunches offer reasonable value for money and trust me when I tell you that they make the best chocolate mousse on the planet.
 
Mrs K and I first discovered the place back in the heady BC years (i.e. Before Children) when we were making regular visits to the Marche Biron in the famous Paris flea market up in St Ouen, buying up bags full of Lalique glass destined for my Bonhams specialist Lalique auctions in London.
 
I must confess that I found prices up at St Ouen less than realistic. However, if you don’t mind an early start you might try the Saturday morning antique market at Port de Vanves, with 350 stallholders, where I found asking prices far more sane.
 
Marche Biron
85 Rue des Rosiers 93400 Saint-Ouen
Saturday – Monday 7.30am – 6pm
Metro Porte de Clignancourt line 4
And Porte de Saint Ouen line 13
 
Porte de Vanves Flea Market
Avenue Georges-Lafenestre and Avenue Marc-Sangier 75014 Paris. Saturday, Sunday 7am – 1pm
Metro Porte de Vanves line 13.