Eating Out, Travel

Dining Inside the Eiffel Tower at Le Jules Verne – Paris, France

A great way to skip the line at the Eiffel Tower? Make reservations at Le Jules Verne, Chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower! Be prepared to pay though, because this was rather pricey for a one Michelin Star spot. Tasting menus start at 105€ for three courses (weekday lunch only) and climb to 230€ for six courses.

We opted for the three-course lunch, which somehow still lasted a leisurely three hours. While restaurant guests had a separate entrance, there was still a small wait of 10 minutes for the elevator ride up. Definitely ask for a table by the window when you make the reservation, they might request a small fee but it is worth it!

I thought the food was weak for a one star, but reflecting back, I’m glad I was able to experience this unique venue. If you can go in with the expectation of paying for the ambience rather than an exceptional meal, I would still recommend the lunch experience. The starters and desserts were pretty good, while the entrees had issues with execution.

We kicked off the meal with complimentary crunchy cheese sticks and a couple of cocktails. The cocktails were well balanced and not sweet.

Le Jules Verne - cocktails and a view
Cocktails and a view. L: Vodka, cherry, lime, currant. R: Belle Eiffel – passionfruit, champagne.

The butter, while cute in appearance, came out quite cold and hard. There was plenty of bread to choose from. I tried four types total and they were good, but not that great considering we were in Paris.

Le Jules Verne - Bread and butter
Butter shaped like the restaurant and assorted bread

The salmon amuse bouche was forgettable.

Le Jules Verne - Amuse bouche - salmon and cabbage
Amuse bouche – salmon and cabbage

My appetizer was chilled pea soup, which was by far my favorite of the savory courses. The exceptionally bright sauce was quite harmonious with the creamy uni hidden at the bottom, and the raw greens added a pleasing, garlicky finish.

Le Jules Verne - Fin velouté de petits pois, royale d’oursin (Delicate green pea velouté, sea urchin royale, langoustine)
Fin velouté de petits pois, royale d’oursin (Delicate green pea velouté, sea urchin royale, langoustine)

My husband got white asparagus, which paired well with the goat cheese foam, though it had woody parts and needed more seasoning.

Le Jules Verne - Asperges blanches servies tièdes, mousseline aux agrumes (Warm white asparagus, citrus mousseline)
Asperges blanches servies tièdes, mousseline aux agrumes (Warm white asparagus, citrus mousseline, goat cheese foam)

My husband’s entree was chicken breast, which was fairly tender and had a nice candied citrus sauce, but the chanterelles were much too watery. The accompanying pot of sautéed vegetables was probably the best part of this dish.

Le Jules Verne - Volaille jaune aux girolles, sauce au vin d'Arbois (Corn-fed chicken with chanterelles, Arbois wine sauce)
Volaille jaune aux girolles, sauce au vin d’Arbois (Corn-fed chicken, chanterelles, Arbois wine sauce)

My entree of steamed white fish was mushy, and the vinegar was distributed unevenly with some parts being bland. I liked the idea of chestnut with eggplant, but overall this dish fell flat.

Le Jules Verne - Maigre à la vapeur, aubergine fumée et condiment pourpier (Steamed meagre, smoked aubergine and purslane condiment)
Maigre à la vapeur, aubergine fumée et condiment pourpier (Steamed meagre, smoked aubergine, purslane, chestnut)

Since this was our anniversary trip, the restaurant surprised us with candles on the desserts. The handwritten chocolate was a nice touch too! My chocolate hazelnut dessert was delicious – a great crunchy hazelnut base and quality, decadent chocolate from their own manufacturer.

Le Jules Verne - L’écrou croustillant au chocolat de notre Manufacture à Paris (Crispy ‘Tower nut’, chocolate from our Manufacture in Paris)
L’écrou croustillant au chocolat de notre Manufacture à Paris (Crispy ‘Tower nut’, chocolate from our Manufacture in Paris, hazelnut)

I also enjoyed my husband’s “cookpot of cherries”, which came with a unique hay ice cream and had great texture contrast from the fruit leather and crumble!

Le Jules Verne - Cookpot de cerises, glace au foin (Cookpot of cherries, hay ice cream)
Cookpot de cerises, glace au foin (Cookpot of cherries, hay ice cream, fruit leather, crumble)
Le Jules Verne - Celebrating our anniversary
Celebrating our anniversary

Of course, the tasting menu came with more sweets after the meal. The truffle mints and peach marshmallows were so delicate and dissolved on the tongue. The other mignardises were fine, though the pistachio bite tasted a bit stale.

Le Jules Verne - Mignardises - pistachio, pumpkin seed, peach, truffle mint, marshmallow
Mignardises – pistachio, pumpkin seed, peach, truffle mint, peach marshmallow

After the meal, we received a bag of mini madeleines and explored the outside decks of the Eiffel Tower through a secret door from the restaurant. When we were done, we went back through the same door to skip the line going down.

I’m not sure I would dine here again, but I’m glad I did on my first trip to Paris!

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