The Paris Dining Guide resumes with suggestions on where to eat while visiting two of Paris’ smaller museums, both of which are great.
If you’re in Paris before July 25, go see the plein air exhibit at the Jaquemart-Andre. If you go after that, go to the Jaquemart-Andre anyway. I’m sure it’s in your guidebook. The museum is a mansion owned by art collectors. Oh, what a mansion, and oh, what a collection. The permanent collection ranges from Botticelli to Rembrandt and Hals to Boucher and Fragonard to David and Reynolds and Gainsborough. The plein air exhibit includes works by the Impressionists — Monet, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, and many others — painted outdoors in Normandy. In September they’ll have a Rembrandt exhibit.
We went with our friend Debbie McMullen, a classmate of Nancy’s who came over from London. After the museum we walked up to Parc Monceau and then over to the Musee Nissim de Camondo, but of course it was Tuesday and it was closed, so we started looking for a place to eat. We found Le Valois at 1 Place Rio de Janero. It was a good choice. Both Debbie and I had the moules frites in a delicious cream sauce: Lots of mussels, lots of frites, and a glass of Sancerre. Nancy had a nice piece of salmon, which she liked.
Le Valois is very pleasant, very French. Most of the customers were business people enjoying relaxing business lunches.
The Marmatton Monet
Everyone should visit the Marmottan Monet in the 16th. They have the largest Monet collection in the world, of course, and that alone is worth a trip. They also have a lovely First Empire collection, including some fabulous furniture, and a collection of Medieval and Early Renaissance Illuminations. And there are paintings by Monet’s contemporaries, notably Berthe Morisot, who has a couple of striking self-portraits.
After visiting the museum in the morning, you’ll find yourself hungry in what probably will be an unfamiliar neighborhood. A short walk through a lovely park leads you to Le Gare, which is also lovely.
Le Gare occupies a former train station. It is a fine space, good for looking around and seeing lots of other people dining.
I don’t think you can see our party — Nancy, Debbie McMullen, and Katy McMullen Canales.
I had an asparagus appetizer and a good veal stew. Nancy had the same followed by some rice pudding, which she graciously shared with me. It was a normal dessert serving, unlike Le Regalade or Chez L’Ami Jean, and it was delicious.
Museum, park, restaurant, food — all good. Afterwards a stroll through the Bois du Boulogne … well, a short Metro ride and a stroll … to the Foundation Louis Vuiton Institute, a Frank Gehry building that is amazing, with walls that look like full sails. It could do without the colored panels, though, for my money. Go inside if you like Chinese art. I skipped it.