One of the prettiest places to have lunch in Paris is the garden café inside the Petit Palais. It’s a great place to come after an exhibit, but you can also enjoy the peaceful setting any time the museum is open. There is indoor seating, but the most attractive option is a table on the covered terrace by the garden. The Petit Palais was built in a richly ornamented style for the Universal Expo of 1900. When I first came to Paris, it was closed and decrepit looking but a fully renovated space was finally re-opened in 2005. The beautifully restored garden has pools tiled in blue and gold surrounded by exotic plants and the terrace has a mosaic tiled floor and allegorical frescoes on the ceiling.
The food is a little pricey but quite tasty (my quiche Lorraine and salad was 8.50 Euros), but the setting is just gorgeous. Here’s the menu. Some of the translations are quite funny – they actually serve chocolate mousse rather than moss, but mousse has several definitions in French. It can also mean a ship’s apprentice, foam, lather, froth, the head on a beer, foam rubber, or the yummy dessert they actually serve in the Jardin du Petit Palais. There’s an idiom with mousse: pierre qui roule n’amasse pas mousse (pea-air key rule namass pah moose), which matches its English counterpart “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” It is probably safe to assert that it doesn’t gather chocolate pudding either.
- Le Titan à l’oeuvre (onequalitythefinest.com)