After the Arc de Triomphe (Part I), the sky began darkening, and a handful of rain drops began to fall. J decided to take the Metro back to the hotel to grab our umbrella and my raincoat (thanks J), while I stayed back on the Champs Elysees and did a little (window) shopping. We planned to meet back up at the Eiffel Tower around 12:30.
A few days earlier, while we were planning out our days in Paris, J told me not to schedule anything on Monday around noon. “Why?” I asked. He told me that he had made reservations to go up the Eiffel Tower (to avoid the ticket lines). We had originally agreed that we would not be going up the tower (too crowded), since we were planning on going to the Tour Montparnasse, which would give us a similar view of Paris from up high. But J changed his mind – or so I thought. Fast forward to the morning – after we woke up, J asked me what I was wearing for the day. The conversation went something like this:
“Er….I don’t know. A dress? And my white cardigan?”
“Well…you know that reservation at the Eiffel Tower?”
Turns out, J didn’t reserve tickets to go to the Eiffel Tower, he had made reservations for le Jules Verne. He’d been keeping this secret for more than a month (apparently, that’s how far in advance you have to book if you want a table). For someone who is usually horrible (and I mean horrible) at keeping secrets, he managed to keep this little lunch plan of his fully hidden from my knowledge. At least until the morning of, when he was afraid that I would wear jeans. Stealthy, yeah?
So, after a short stroll, I took the Metro over to the Eiffel. J, figuring he had mastered biking in Paris by now, decided to bike over. [I cautioned him against it. He biked anyway. Had quite a harrowing journey, but ultimately made it.]
J and I met under the Eiffel Tower, and took the restaurant’s private elevator up to the second level.
From the moment we entered the elevator to when we finally stepped back onto ground level, the experience was amazing. The food was delectable and the service impeccable (rhyming was unintentional, I promise). The garçons in their black suits lended an air of formality to the place, le Jules Verne was completely lacking in pretentiousness.
The waiters handed us menus (I later learned that J’s version of the menu had prices listed, while mine did not), and we decided on the three course prix fixe – one with wine pairings and one without.
The waiter brought around a bread basket filled with white bread, multigrain bread, and savory brioche. I chose the brioche.
J went for the plain roll. He wanted a plain and simple bread to accompany the butter. That’s right – in this case, the bread was merely the means by which J would transport butter from plate to mouth.
The amuse-bouche was a gazpacho served in a shot glass.
First course (descriptions from the menu):
This soup was unbelievable. So creamy and velvety, just as the menu promised.
My asparagus even came with of bit of caviar on the side. The asparagus was very tender and the sauce was good – but I have to say, J’s soup was the winner of the two. We finished every last bit (J even wanted to lick the bowl in which soup his soup came, but he restrained). The main course was served next (with a glass of red wine for J).
See that yellow liquid that the fish is sitting in? Pretty sure that’s mostly butter. Regardless, this was delicious. The fish was not overcooked in the last (as fish tends to be in restaurants). Savory and flavorful…and the accompanying potatoes! Incredibly delicious.
“Wow” immediately entered my mind when J gave me a taste of his duck. We savored the food, bite after bite, until there was nothing left.
Fortunately, dessert was still to be had. J chose the savarin, which is a French cake. The waiter brought out the cake, then poured armagnac (a kind of brandy) over it, followed by a dop of Chantilly cream.
A pour of dessert wine –
Dessert was served, but the meal was not over – not yet.
While we were eating, a storm passed over Paris (the only time it rained when we were there). By the time dessert came, however, the rain had disappeared, leaving us to lingering over dessert with a wonderful view of the city.
With our bellies full, we walked waddled outside of the restaurant to the second observatory level of the Eiffel Tower. (But not before being handed a bag of madeleines to enjoy later on.) Scenes from the Eiffel:
le Jules Verne serves a dinner prix fixe for €20o a person. The lunch was a great way to enjoy a Michelin starred restaurant without having to pay quite that much. Memorable, indeed. Thanks J.