LE TRAIN BLEU
Le Train Bleu stands as a paragon of Parisian elegance and sophistication. Situated on the first floor of the venerable Gare de Lyon train station, it beckons patrons with the promise of gourmet French cuisine, ensconced within an atmosphere of unparalleled refinement. This establishment, with its opulent and lavish decor, transports diners back to the golden age of luxury travel, where the interior itself is a work of art.
While some may consider the decor to be extravagant and ostentatious, it has earned its rightful place on Paris’s list of historical monuments since 1972, steadfastly preserving its original features, including the 41 magnificent paintings adorning its walls. The restaurant’s history, characterised by its 1900s ambiance (parquet flooring, sumptuous leather-upholstered seating, rich wood paneling, and ornate gilt and painted ceilings), sets the stage for a gourmet dining experience within the heart of the Gare de Lyon. Here, one can follow in the footsteps of illustrious travelers who have graced this establishment with their presence.
From the moment of its inception, Le Train Bleu has been a magnet for locals and tourists alike. To this day, it serves approximately five hundred patrons daily, all eager to revel in the restaurant’s breathtaking setting overlooking the railway tracks of the station while savoring exquisite French cuisine. Adjacent to the main dining area is the Big Ben Bar, a sanctuary of elegance and prestige, offering Sunday brunch along with a selection of coffees, cakes, and gourmet snacks, including club sandwiches, throughout the week.
´Offering traditional French cuisine, blending elements of both brasserie and gourmet dining, diners can choose from various menus, such as the Tasting Menu, served per table in the evening, accompanied by half a bottle of champagne per person for €98. For a slightly more economical option at €70 per person, there is the Sarah Bernhardt Menu, which includes a choice of starter, main course, dessert, and coffee. Those on a tighter budget may opt for the Rejane Menu, priced at €56 per person, offering a three-course meal with a glass of wine or mineral water.´ – Charles Daniel McDonald
As expected, an à la carte menu is also available, featuring starters ranging from €20 to €29, showcasing delights like Home-smoked Scottish salmon with crunchy vegetable spring rolls and balsamic cherry dressing or Lyon pistachio sausage with mashed potatoes in chive and mustard dressing. Main courses offer a selection of fish and meat dishes, such as Scorpion fish and scallops A la plancha with creamy shellfish risotto and cuttlefish ink dressing or Charolais beef steak tartare, prepared to one’s taste, with homemade French fries and mixed salad.
Prices for main courses range from €30 to €45, with options like a whole grilled turbot for two at €95, or a vegetarian choice. For dessert, Le Train Bleu tempts diners with an array of indulgences, including vintage Rum Baba with whipped cream, lemon and lime tart, or bourbon vanilla layer cake. The restaurant also offers Sunday brunch in the bar lounge for €40 per person (€20 for children under 12), featuring a buffet of bread, jams, fruit juice, cheeses, and hot drinks, followed by a table-served starter and a main hot dish of meat or fish, concluding with assorted desserts.
Le Train Bleu is nestled in the 12th Arrondissement, within the Gare de Lyon train station and remains open every day of the year. The Big Ben Bar welcomes guests from 7:30 am to 11 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 11 pm on Sundays and French national holidays, offering beverages, pastries, and gourmet snacks. Sunday brunch in the bar lounge is available from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, except during July and August, and advance reservations are strongly recommended by phone. Le Train Bleu’s restaurant hours are from 11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch and from 7 pm to 11 pm for dinner, with last orders accepted at least an hour prior. The restaurant welcomes guests every day of the year. For group bookings, business lunches, or special events, enquiries can be directed to Le Train Bleu at +33 (0) 1 43 43 09 06.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Le Train Blue