Le Mini Palais, the new restaurant in the Grand Palais, has received a lot of press since it reopened last fall. Does it deserve the hype? Yes.
First, in a part of town without many restaurants, the Mini Palais serves food daily, from noon til midnight. Lunch and dinner offer appealing choices – a burger made with duck, tender scallops in a sauce of coconut milk, creamy penne with chorizo – and a 28 euro menu for lunch.
If hunger hits mid-afternoon, you’re really in luck. Tea is served from 3-6. A proper pot of tea comes with shortbread cookies and cakes; a rich cup of coffee with 2 mini desserts.
The snack menu, served all afternoon, consists of charcuterie and cheese plates, and sardines with seaweed butter, for 2 people.
The dining room is stylish and welcoming, with high ceilings, wood floor, and windows that reach from floor to ceiling. And in good weather, the terrasse, with its intricately tiled floor, grand pillars, and comfy woven chairs, is sublime.
Les Ombres, the chic restaurant atop Musée Branly, has added tea to its menu. Pastries are served from 3-5pm daily – and include creations by pastry chef/chocolatier Pascal Chanceau. Choose tarte au citron meringuée with lemon sorbet, or carrement chocolat au lait et noisettes.
Tea is from Mariage-Frères, coffee from Columbia, Cost Rica, and New Guinea.
Les Ombres looks at the Eiffel Tower, a few blocks away, through a glass roof. On warm afternoons, tea is served outdoors, on the terrasse.
Lunch at Les Ombres can cost 40 euros per person; dinner runs about 100. At 10 euros per pastry, tea isn’t inexpensive. But the view is impressive, the pastries sublime, and the price puts a bit of luxury in reach.