5.7 Restaurant Eliance Orsay, 1 Rue de la Legion d'Honneur in the 7th, (Metro: Orsay or Solferino) 01.45.49.42.33 (but don't bother, they don't take reservations), open for lunch except Monday, for dinner only on Thursday) has been here since 1900. So what's new? Ahhh, nothing.
Except that Figaroscope listed it as one of the most beautiful dining settings in Paris last September and featured its sister place (the Cafe Campana) pictured directly above, when it opened in November, and I thought then that one or both might merit a visit, since so many of us go to the Orsay regularly.
And indeed it was. The "menu" is quite reasonable (16.50 E) and even a la carte is about 25-40 E. Before coming I had cruised the Cafe Campana and while it's a nice cantine with a "Hugo"-type clock, it didn't have the 1900 look. You know, eating with Marie Antoinette in Versailles and all that.
My dining partner and I both started with the 9 E Vichyssoise which was really different and good, and not only because I have had any in an eon. It had a hint of some spice or herb, sorrel maybe, and morsels of savory strips at the bottom.
Then he had another starter, a terrine of foie gras and poultry and I two very adequate pieces of quite drab rouget which came alive with the bitter orange rind accompaniment. Both dishes were served with a load of fresh spring vegetables - microtomed beets and carrots on a pumpkin puree for him and peas and pasta nuggets in broth for me. Both were super.
He ended with a creme caramel with mango and Szechwan pepper on top that I thought was incredible.
With a bottle of Cotes du Rhone, no bottled water but two coffees, or bill was 97.10 E.
Go? Yah, why not, especially with the Degas Nude show on til July 1st.