It’s on one of the sweeping boulevards in Paris and frequented by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Le Dome Montparnasse, in all its Art Deco splendour, is undoubtedly a tourist trap but for a lazy, sunny Saturday lunch, it was a wonderful spoil for Greedy Girl, gluttonous husband and their dear friend Pucci Girl, she having treated herself to a fabulous new dress on sale at Au Bon Marche. What else would one do in Paris?

This is a large, imposing and refined restaurant. Shown to a table in the conservatory, we perused the menu. Given that Pucci Girl is not an enormous fan of fish this was a challenge to be overcome – Le Dome has served up seafood to the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. Who were we to ask for a steak frites instead.

With a delightful bottle of champagne cooling in the ice bucket, we discovered to no small delight that free wi-fi was available. No doubt Monsieur Hemingway would utter a gruff American-accented zut alors (or perhaps something more, ahem, earthy) so we three Australians could check the football scores over lunch. Was there a more perfect place to consume lunch?

And so to the food. An amuse bouche was offered of a delightful gazpacho and we tucked in. It was just the prelude to some rather gigantic plates.

The girls (Greedy and Pucci) chose langoustines with fresh egg noodles, tomato and basil. This was substantial yet light. The langoustines had been grilled (with that distinctive flavour) but still remained slightly undercooked and very moist. The noodles were al dente and the dots of fresh tomato as well as the slightly heavier sauce were delicious. It was a very good dish.

Le Dome Paris

Langoustines with fresh egg noodles

Gluttonous husband opted for John Dory. This was a couple of large pan seared fillets atop a few vegetables and the most divine turned new potatoes ever. These just sucked up great mounds of the burnt butter sauce and were intensely moreish.
Le Dome Paris

Pan-seared John Dory

Given the amount of food on offer (and that Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband had dinner reservations that evening) we tried to limit our consumption. The range of desserts on offer, however was just too tempting. Pucci Girl chose the house specialty, mille feuille (pictured at the top of this blog). This was an enormous serving – filling the same size plate as offered during the main course. It was not possible to incorporate any more cream or almonds into this dessert. Pucci Girl valiantly tried to consume this gigantic confection but reluctantly put down the fork half way through.

Greedy Girl, unusually for her, took the tarte au citron. This was a slightly different take and more like ‘lemon meringue pie’ with a crunchy biscuit base and the soft meringue piped on top. It was very tart and very sweet. Greedy Girl gobbled up the berries on the plate to try to soothe the all-out assault on her teeth enamel.

Le Dome Paris

Tarte au citron

Gluttonous husband paved the way for Greedy Girl’s choice by ordering the chocolate dessert. The crust of dark chocolate cracked to reveal light chocolate mousse inside and a biscuit base. Gluttonous husband was happy to pair it with the citrusy syrup on the side but Greedy Girl considered this an abuse of chocolate.
Le Dome Paris

Chocolate … mmmm …

Ducking downstairs to the restrooms, Greedy Girl hoped to see some signs of the illustrious dining forebears – a quick sketch on the back of the toilet door by chance with the words ‘Picasso was here’ scrawled underneath. No such luck.
We were quietly finishing off our champagne and an excellent coffee when the street in front of us filled with police vans and gendarmes in full riot gear. We asked the waiter whether there was a protest march. Not exactly, was the reply.
It was, in fact, the gay pride march. Sydney’s Mardi Gras it wasn’t, but it was kind of the restaurant staff to organise such a cabaret for us to round out a memorable lunch.

Le Dome is not for everyone. Non fish eaters would struggle here (although there is a sprinkling of other dishes available). It’s certainly not cheap and, depending on the review you read, the service can be, well, difficult. We experienced none of the downsides and enjoyed our moment in history.

Le Dome

108 Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris

Tagged under: , , , ,