Birthday lunch at the Jules Verne on the Eiffel Tower

Monday, January 21 was my 60th birthday which was one of the reasons we were in Paris in January. Actually, we don’t really need a reason.

Paris breakfast

Start the day off slowly. Bread from Poilâne, preserves, cheese, coffee.

I had booked two special meals for us that day starting with lunch at the Jules Verne restaurant on the Eiffel Tower. While a restaurant like this may seem like the ultimate tourist trap, it is done very, very well. It’s managed by the Alain Ducasse organization which oversees top-end restaurants and inns around the world and know how to keep an eye on the details. Here’s what Ducasse says, “The Jules Verne has no other ambition than to remain true to itself: the most beautiful place in Paris to enjoy all the pleasures of contemporary and accessible French cuisine “. That’s about right….

On the Champs de Mars on way to the tower

On the Champs de Mars on way to the tower.

There’s a smart reservation policy in place given that it’s a global attraction – they accept online bookings only. So, no frantic long distance phone calls or mishaps. We booked months in advance and it worked out perfectly.

Approach to Eiffel Tower

A romantic approach to the Eiffel Tower

We woke up and had a small breakfast at the apartment. Took our time getting ready. From our apartment, we could walk to the tower in about 20 minutes. It was overcast with lots of snow on the ground. As we got to the tower, we saw signs that said the tower was closed due to the snow…. but not the restaurant. The restaurant has its own elevator. Later, the rest of the tower opened too.

Waiting for the elevator.

Waiting for the elevator.

On the way up the elevator.

On the way up the elevator. Pure engineering in front of you. Paris in a winter haze.

Looking down the elevator shaft.

Looking down the south-west elevator shaft.

We had booked for the earliest time, 12:15, and had told them it was a special occasion and requested a window seat. They don’t promise window seats, but given we were the first ones up there, it was easy to seat us with a view east towards the heart of Paris with the Seine curving off to the right.

The view over the 7th and 6th with the Right Bank on the left.

The view from our seats over the 7th and 6th with the Right Bank on the left.

Seated at the Jules Verne. Happy!

Seated at the Jules Verne. Happy!

The whole experience was everything you could hope for. Service was friendly, very polished and helpful. I had previewed the menu which was similar to the one on the current site, so we knew what to expect. The 3 courses were 98E, or with wine 125E. We chose the “with wines” option (well, hello), and started with a glass of champagne. (A nice touch – since they have a few champagnes on the menu, they bring the bottle to the table to show you what they’re pouring.)

The luckiest guy on the planet.

The luckiest guy on the planet.... big birthday with his sweetheart, champagne, window seat at the Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. What more could you ask for?

Duck fois gras in an artful arrangement.

Duck fois gras in an artful arrangement. Love the glasses with the lilac reflections.

Endive, ham, cheese, truffle

Endive, ham, cheese, truffle - does it get any more French?

Lunch started with an amuse bouche of creamed vegetables in a fancy little shot glass which was very tasty. Our choices: for appetizers, duck foie gras ravioli and endive with ham, Comté cheese and black truffle. For the main courses, beef cheeks and venison, and for desserts, two sorbets on diced mango and baba with armagnac and Chantilly cream. Wines were premier cru Chardonnay with the first course and a Pomerol with the main course.

Beef cheeks and Pomerol

Beef cheeks and Pomerol. Look at the stylized JV punched through the plate. I live for these details.

Venison, just right.

Venison, just right.

Sorbet and mango

You can't help but smile when they set down this dish of winged sorbet and diced mango in front of you. An art installation!

Baba waiting for armagnac and cream

Baba waiting for armagnac and Chantilly cream. Petit fours too, bien sûr.

Armagnac has been chosen and poured. Here comes the cream.

Armagnac has been chosen and poured. Here comes the cream.

Love this cream and sugar set

Love this cream and sugar set. Found it in Toronto. Alessi.

The whole experience was flawless. If you go there and order the baba with armagnac dessert, be prepared to make a choice: which armagnac would you like poured over it? They bring you two. I should have asked to taste them both first before deciding, oh excuse me, could I have another taste…. but I chose one, and promptly had it buried under freshly whipped cream. Delicious!

View into the Jules Verne with the maitre de.

View into the Jules Verne with the maitre de. Quick grab shot.

We ate slowly, trying to stretch out our time. They didn’t rush us. It was other-worldly and we felt very, very lucky.

Finally we were finished, happy and ready for the afternoon.

Happy on the banks of the Seine

On the banks of the Seine

Monsieur Le Neige, our new Parisian friend.

Monsieur Le Neige, our new Parisian friend.

From the Eiffel Tower we knew we could walk over the Pont Alexandre III to the Grand Palais to see a big Edward Hopper show. Yes, an American artist, but like so many Americans, he had spent formative years in Paris. So this made sense, and it was a perfect way to walk off a special lunch.

Edward Hopper at the Grand Palais

Edward Hopper at the Grand Palais – a wonderful show. Worth spending much more time learning about him.

Dinner, on a boat in the Seine near the Notre Dame was still to come.

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Comments: 3

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  • Mark Day

    What Treat to enjoy your experiences..thank you. I am an artist who ‘workshopped in Paris’ near the TGV that heads to Nice….we had dessert in the BLEU TRAIN restaurant there…maybe you know it…in Mr.Bean film and others.
    I Love France, stayed in a Castle there 5weeks, and Arles, etc. same length……looking forward to continuing your Blog.
    Thank you…and Happy Birthday…I turned 62 in November. Your husband is great to enjoy all the excitement too.

     
     
     
    • Thank you for your comment Mark. You are very lucky that you workshopped in Paris. What better place? You, Van Gogh, Picasso and so many others. Yes, know about Bleu Train restaurant, but haven’t eaten there. Look at early posts on this blog and you’ll see that a few years ago we were in Arles and Aix too.

       
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