Sitting atop one of the world’s most iconic monuments enjoying a panoramic view of Paris could have been enough to justify lunch at Le Jules Verne. Our experience was ever so more rewarding thanks to sunny if somewhat hazy weather, and the seemingly effortless orchestration of our meal by the polite staff of the well known restaurant.
Every course of our elegant meal was delicious, artfully presented and served. Contemporary décor set the stage. There was little on the table other than crisp linen, sea salt and pepper to distracts us from the cityscape below. Comfortable seats and refined dinnerware enhanced the ambiance. At our request, the friendly and helpful sommelier selected wines to match our order. From the well chilled brut house champagne to the langoustines and the cookpot vegetable (a house specialty) appetizers through mains and desserts we enjoyed every morsel and every minute of the spectacular view. Our neighbors at nearby tables seemed equally mesmerized.
When the meal ended we sighed, contented, pondering whether we would rather return for lunch or revisit Le Jules Verne as the lights of the city sparkled at night. Undecided, we concluded whatever time we chose it would likely be yet again a worthwhile romantic meal.
Executive Chef Pascal Feraud was assisted by Gregory Stawowy and Stephane Brown.
Handicapped Access There was an elevator from the ground level entrance. A small restroom was on the same level as the dining room.
Location On the second level of the Eiffel Tower at the south Pillar, about 125 meters above ground.
Managed The French monument was operated and managed under a public service contract by Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), a public-private partnership, in which the City of Paris had a 59.9 percent stake. The restaurant itself was managed by the Groupe Alain Ducasse company.
Opened-Renovated Although the Eiffel Tower opened to the public in 1889, Le Jules Verne as it exists today was only built in 1983. The most recent renovations were completed December 2007.
Owned The building was government owned.
Pastry Chef Philippe Muze
Restaurant Manager Marilleau Huges
Size The restaurant had capacity for 120 guests. It was manned by 110 staff members including kitchen personnel. We estimated the size to be about 600 square meters.
Sommeliers Amar Chebrek and Roberto Amadei were in charge of the wines. Amadei worked at the Hilton in Rome, Savoy Palace in London, Tour d’Argent in Paris, first as commis de salle and then commis de sommellerie. In 2006, he joined the Four Seasons George V.
Type Of Restaurant Contemporary French cuisine created “to reacquaint the French with the incomparable talent of their culinary heritage and extends an open invitation to visitors from around the world.”
Within the restaurant, soft shades of beige and dark brown were predominant. Orange seats added a splash of color to chase away the gray of fall and winter. Distinctive design elements integrated into the restaurant were honeycomb walls, carbon fiber chairs produced by Pininfarina, a glass wall in the center, and fixtures hanging from the dining room ceiling to remind guests of Paris street lamps.
Staff uniforms were by Lanvin 15 Faubourg. There were French porcelain J.L. Coquet plates, and plates, including the distinctive presentation plate, specially designed for Le Jules Verne by Tachon. There were also rare items from the Orfevrerie Beard in Montreux, silver plated nickel silver cutlery designed by the Orfevrerie de France, and ebony carving knives crafted by the Coutellerie Chambriard in Thiers. There were also MD Crystal and carafes from the Vallerysthal glassworks in Lorraine.
There were also armagnac, single malt whisky from Haute-Champagne aged in wine barrels; Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Japanese whiskies; Polish vodka and California gin.
Special Menus There was a three course Lunch Menu available Monday to Friday for 98 euros; and a five course Experience Menu for 185 euros or 230 euros for six courses. Wine pairings for the five courses cost 55 for a regular wine selection or 80 euros for Exceptional Wines, and for six course menu pairings 95 euros for regular wines or 120 euros for Exceptional Wines.
For appetizers we chose a Cookpot de légumes de saison, caillé de brebis (Cookpot of seasonal vegetables, ewe’s milk cheese), one of the house specialties, for my lunch partner. The vegetables were bold and lightly crispy. I ordered Belles Langoustines rôties, cèpes et artichauts en fricassée (Roasted large langoustines, cep mushrooms and artichokes fricassee) prepared with crunchy carrots and savory spinach in an orange colored foamy sauce.
For mains, my lunch partner chose Tronçon de turbot meunière, petites girolles, marmelade tiède de legumes (Meuniere style turbot, girolle mushrooms, warm vegetables marmalade). I tried Homard bleu en carapace, haricots coco de Paimpol et bisque legere (Blue lobster, coco beans and light bisque), a hearty Brittany lobster served with large distinctive French beans, fresh cilantro, Asian spices and thin slices of coconut for an exotic touch.
We shared a cheese plate. There were four cheeses and jams or compotes to match each. Pear accompanied the chevre, hard cheese was served a chili compote from the Pays Basque, Munster with bacon and walnuts, and blue of Armagnac with a creamy yogurt type substance crowned with beet root shavings. The wine steward matched wines by the glass with our meal.
For dessert, we had L’ecrou croustillant au chocolat de notre manufacture a Paris, glace noisette Crispy “Tower nut” (chocolate from Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse Manufacture a Paris and praline, hazelnut ice cream), a dark chocolate for my lunch partner; and pear souffle served with a side of raw pear for me. It was airy with a hint of almond flavor. For post dessert one of the staff members set a colorful tray of caramel shortbread, chocolate macarons, and white chocolate and mango bites in the middle of the table. There were also powdery truffle squares and marshmallows, each in their own bowl to tempt us.
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox
Service Staff members were friendly without ever being intrusive. They went out of their way to assist us in English, describing the dishes and their ingredients as they presented them to us.
Would You Dine Eat There Again-Recommend It? Yes