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.
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.
The salmon amuse bouche was forgettable.
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.
My husband got white asparagus, which paired well with the goat cheese foam, though it had woody parts and needed more seasoning.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!