Musée d’Orsay for Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Manet and incredible lunch

We’d been to the Musée d’Orsay on previous trips to Paris and when it was time for lunch or a snack we always headed up to the restaurant / cafeteria on the 5th floor, not necessarily for the food, but for the stunning room behind the giant train station clocks. It’s a room like no other. I didn’t have a shot of this room – closed for renos – so I found this one from VP. You can see all of VP’s travel shots here.

Musée d'Orsay cafeteria

Not bad for a cafeteria! Wait till you see the other restaurant.

Surely the Musée d’Orsay has another restaurant. After all, spending two hours in a beautifully curated Manet show, and then doing a quick tour of four floors of art including the renowned collection of Impressionists (thank you Dr. Gachet, Gustave Caillebotte, and many others) we were certainly ready to eat.

Entrance to Musée d'Orsay restaurant

An elegant introduction to a spectacular room.

And sure enough, there is a more formal restaurant on the 2nd floor that is simply breathtaking. A wait of just a few minutes, and we were seated.

Restaurant Musée d' Orsay

Click on this for a bigger view. What a room! Best of all, the food is quite wonderful, the kitchen seems to run well, and the waiters were the epitome of professional French service.

Wow! I wanted to be discreet with the camera, but couldn’t help getting off a few shots, not only of the room and our meal, but also our neighbouring diners.

Polka dots and French service

Polka dots times two. A waiter from Paris central casting.

La Parisienne

La Parisienne - look at that hair!

The other good news – the 3-course prix fixe was just 17 Euros. It was delicious, and lo and behold, the dessert was île flottante, Heavenly!

Île Flottant for dessert

Two delicious courses accompanied by wonderful rosé wine, and now île flottant et un express for dessert. Happiness all around!

It was again, one of those moments when we were glad to be alive, doubly happy to be in Paris on a beautiful spring day and somehow amazed that they let “just anybody” in here.

If you’re in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay should be on your “must see” lists, and this restaurant is a singular dining experience.

Musée d'Orsay restaurant wall and ceiling

A little gilt trim perhaps? The wall and the ceiling behind Marlene.

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