I don't exactly associate the frenetic, sweeping "grands boulevards" around Paris's Opera Garnier with relaxing lunches: it's the kind of spot that makes me want to find a quiet covered passageway or square in which to take refuge from the shopping-crazed crowds and traffic, and fast. However, I recently had lunch at the Palais Garnier's dedicated restaurant, eponymously named after the historic opera house itself, and enjoyed being out on their expansive terrace. More importantly, the food was good, featuring always flavorful, remarkably fresh, and well-presented dishes from the restaurant's new chef, Stéphane Bidi.
Among the palate-surprises was a cold, creamy pea soup with poached egg, mushrooms, and a tangy note of Japanese yuzu (a particularly tart lime variety) that removed my association of pea soup with cold, wintery nights. The bufala mozzarella and beefheart tomato dish (pictured) was, quite simply, as summery as they come, and delicious. You can read my full review of L'Opera here.
- Complete Guide to Paris Food (Eating, Drinking, and Nibbling)
- Top Gourmet Restaurants in Paris
- Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Paris
- Best Wine Bars in Paris
- Best Parisian Street Food/Fast Food Options
Image credit: Courtney Traub/Licensed to About.com