The super-talented chef Eric Frechon (of Paris’s Hotel Bristol and the Mini Palais) brings us a modern, up to date brasserie called Lazare, serving, as he likes to say, “real, authentic food and a return to what’s essential at the table: history, memory, laughs, tears, family meals and a simple dinner tête à tête.” Set at the ground floor entrance of the Gare Saint-Lazare – the train station near the Madeleine that sends travelers to Normandy and points west --- the bright and contemporary brasserie offers good food, fine service, a cheerful setting, and hours that are hard to beat: 7:30 AM to midnight, nonstop. You don’t have to be traveling to love the place, and I can imagine popping in for a quick breakfast or a snack while shopping at the department stores Printemps or Galeries Lafayette nearby. Frechon hopes to bring back the authentic Parisian brasserie, a loud and happy-sounding spot with such classics as mussels in cream, steak tartare, seven-hour leg of lamb, and a green bean salad with artichokes, hazelnuts, and hazelnut oil. The décor is modern --- shelves filled with stacks of white plates and rows of shiny copper pots; a recipe for their Paris-Deauville dessert, handwritten on a huge blackboard; and an industrially exposed ceiling, painted all white. I’d go back again and again for the moist, perfectly cooked lamb, falling off the bone, set on a bed of well-seasoned bulgar, the meat itself flavored with black olives, tomato, thin slices of lemon, and whole pieces of star anise. Yum! Just right for pairing with a glass of Marcel Lapierre’s Morgon. I love as well his rendition of the classic green bean salad, paired with freshly cooked artichokes, whole hazelnuts, and a hazelnut oil dressing (photo). On one visit we feasted on a giant portion of the tiniest girolles (chanterelles), enough for a vegetarian main course! I was less convinced of the roast codfish (cabillaud) served in pleasant green sauce (sauce vierge) and topped with lightly cooked baby spinach. His rhubarb tart is delicious, perfectly tangy with a crisp, not-too-sweet crust. And cheese comes from young cheesemonger Claire Griffon (with a shop at 23, bis avenue de la Motte Piquet in the 7tharrondissement). Do try the young goat cheese – chèvre – marinated in fresh thyme and olive oil.
Gare Saint-Lazare (front side, street level)
Tel: +33 1 44 90 80 80
Open daily 7:30AM to midnight.
9€ breakfast menu. 26-79€ à la carte at lunch and dinner.