One of the most beautiful options is Brasserie Excelsior Flo. Located just opposite the train station, it’s a fabulous example of art nouveau architecture. Ten stained-glass windows are by Jacques Grüber, the wood-paneling is by Majorelle, and three hundred glass light shades are by Daum. The fern designs in the windows are repeated in the floor mosaics and ceiling. (50 rue Henri Poincaré, 03 83 35 24 57; brasserie-excelsior.com)
Right on Place Stanislas is another great option, the Grand Café Foy. On the menu is that most classic of dishes – quiche Lorraine. It’s even older than the Excelsior Flo, dating to around 1850. The restaurant is named after Napoleonic-era General Maximilien Sébastien Foy. After his military career, he entered political life. He was so beloved that when he died, 100,000 people followed his funeral cortège. The terrace is the perfect place to watch the light show on the façade of the Hôtel de Ville on summer evenings. While there, I just might try another specialty of Nancy, mirabelle plums served in Nougat glacé à la mirabelle. Ah, summer nights! (1 place Stanislas, 03 83 32 15 97; grandcafefoy.com)
Very near my hotel behind the cathedral is Les Petits Gobelins, a modern gourmet bistro. For twenty years, chef Patrice Grosse has been serving elegant, contemporary cuisine. Grosse is from Brittany, so it’s no surprise that the menu features many seasfood dishes. Their lunch menu is a particularly tempting value. (18 rue de la Primatiale, 03 83 35 49 03; lespetitsgobelins.fr)
My final restaurant choice, Les Pissenlits (lay piss-ohn-lee) gives today’s post its name. Les pissenlits means dandelions. I find this name hysterically funny, because it’s a compound word, or mot portmanteau, that means “pee in the bed” due to the mild diuretic effect of the leaves of that pretty, yet noxious, yellow weed. Located near the covered market and the new Place Charles III, Les Pissenlits has a vintage bistro vibe downstairs and a slightly dressier feel upstairs. It is owned by the Mengin family; Jean-Luc is the chef and Danièle is the sommelier. The menus are based on fresh, market produce. Of course, specialities include pissenlit salad. (27 rue des Ponts, 03 83 37 43 97; les-pissenlits.com).