Eating and Drinking
Near the intersection of avenue de Maine and the rue d'Alesia, at 51 rue Hallé is l'Ordonnance, a neighborhood restaurant the has us returning week after week. A family run operation, it fills with couples and friends of all ages.
The grey exterior with yellow trim is a pleasant site that begs you come inside to its cosy dining rooms. This is a menu on the chalkboard place, and on my first visit, I had the perfect lunch. The daily menu was inviting. but I wanted to look at the "carte" also to see their every day selections.
The entreé was couteaux (razor clams). I am not fond of clams, but the main course on the daily menu was one of my favorites, the quasi (pronounced kasi) de veau, a little veal tenderloin, in this case cooked with shiitaké mushrooms and served with a creamy risotto.
On the carte, which has their every day selections, I was intrigued by the "purée de champignons en duxelles, oeuf poché et ventrèche grillée". It was a lot of French words for a simple and delightful dish, essentially, diced, cooked and puréed mushrooms topped by a poached egg and grilled bacon-more like a pancetta.
Only photos could do them justice.
Purée de champignons
Quasi de veau
I love desserts made with figs. They are never too sweet. This day's was a fig tart with fig sorbet. it was delicious.
At 32 Euros for three courses, this wonderful meal would have cost 3 or 4 times as much elsewhere.
Time was, eating in a museum was sort of a captive audience, no other choice experience. Their "kitchen" consisted of a microwave and a coffee maker. Plastic forks? Paper napkins? Bus your own table?
Paris may have started the trend toward fine museum dining that could stand on its own. Restaurants that would become destinations in themselves.
Here are the best:The Musée d'Orsay actually has two: The Café Campana, near the Impressionist gallery was recently reopened with an Art Nouveau décor and a brasserie menu. But the best feature is the glass window that is the back of one of the giant clocks on the exterior of the museum.
. The main dining room, called simply "The Restaurant" was built in 1900 as part of the hotel that was incorporated in the railroad station. It's Rococo ceiling could have come from Versailles. It serves traditional French Cuisine.
The Restaurant at the Musée d'Orsay
Inside the Muse Guimet, the best collection of Asian art in Europe, is Le Salon des Porcelains, a pan Asian delight. Dim sum, noodles, sea bass with ginger, Thai style salmon, and jasmine tea.
le Salon des Porcelaines
The Musée Jacquemart-André, built in 1868, is palatial home full of art. Its restaurant itself is a work of art. The onetime Louis XV ballroom of this elegant mansion is a perfect place for lunch. One does not need to buy a museum ticket to eat there, so it has a regular following. Get there before one o'clock to get a table.
The Musée Jacquemart-André Restaurant
The Musée du Vin is set in a residential neighborhood. It's made up of miles of tunnels carved into the hillside of the old village of Passy in the 13th century to mine limestone for the building of Paris. An order of monks who settled in the area 200 years later widened the vaulted ceilings and used them as wine cellars. In 1984 the long abandoned tunnels were bought by a wine tasting society and turned into a museum that celebrates the history of winemaking. Naturally, any restaurant in such a place had better be good. A recent munu featured roast pork and lamb stew, paired with a great red wine.
Musée du Vin Restaurant
Let me know if you find any other great museum restaurants.
A sidewalk chalkboard had the menu du jour, at the unbelievable price of 14 Euros for either an entrée (always the first course in France) and plat (main course) or a plat and dessert. But a minute after I sat down, I was brought a small plare of sliced sausage. A nice touch.
The entrées were:
-Couteaux (razor clams) with parsley or
-Herring filets with warm potatoes in oil
For the main course:
-Filet of trout cooked with butter and almonds and basmati rice or
-Sautéed pork with olives and basmati rice
The desserts were:
-Chocolate fondant with crème Anglaise (a buttery creamy sauce) or
-Crème brulee with Cointreau
I chose the herring. The slightly smoky herring and potatoes were lightly bathed in
The pork sautée with olives is a classic French dish and jumped at it. The pork pieces are sautéed in olive oil and herbs the olives are added, then it's all finished with white wine and cream. The olives provide a tangy balance to the cream sauce. I ordered a small carafe of Rasteau, a southwestern red that held up well to both courses.
The lunch was filling and I skipped dessert. You will never find a better meal for 14 Euros.