5.3 The (Brasserie) Garnier, 111 Rue St Lazare in the 8th, 01.43.87.50.40, Metro: St Lazare, open 7/7, including a no big deal lunch fuss New Year's Eve day, was founded in 1865 (whoops, no, that's Mollard next door, oh well, a long time ago anyway) but was "recently" (whatever that means) given a face-lift.
Colette and I have not been in umpteen years, but one of my favorite and most reliable sources, Paga, reported on a meal recently where he had the most spectacular sole (42 E) in years. So, with pecuniary trepidation, I decided to haul my long-suffering wife/mistress/muse and my ex-co-host there for a New Year's eve day lunch, damn the cost.
We were warmly welcomed by elegant hosts and seated on the third level with a view over the bustling St Lazarre parvis. Immediately we were served a dish of rillettes of mackerel with toast - a very good start. After a glance at the cart I realized, by George, that we didn't need to sell the family silver after-all. While the sole was still stratospherically-priced, the "menu" was both "interesting" in the food choice and economic sense. Ergo, bye-bye sole fixation. And the wines were reasonable - ahhhright!
The two ladies chose the fish soup prepared traditionally with toasts and cheese and rouille - quite nice when salted a bit; while I had the fried eperlans, one of my all-time favorites, with house-made tartare.
Colette had the rougets with a copperpot full of caviar d'aubergines, P. had daurade (by far the biggest piece, but I'm not jealous, oh no) with carrots, and I had the third fish on the "menu" - the rascasse on-top a bed of mangetouts; all were indeed worth writing home about.
For dessert P. had the pot of vanilla and, in a 50-year-show-of-solidarity, Colette and I both had the classic baba with a generous splash of rum from Martinique.
The bill with two bottles of wine, no bottled water, great bread and three coffees (included as would have been a glass of wine each, if we had so chosen to further indulge) = 103 E a couple.
Go? If only to see if the red cannibalistic lobster managed to eat all of the dead-as-a-dodo white lobster which was truly not kipping (Ref: "The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire?")