Where to … Eat • Le Train Bleu

Le Train Bleu is in Gare de Lyon, Paris.

“The Blue Train” is one of the most sumptuous restaurants in Paris.

In its hey days, it was the penultimate destination in Paris before you launched yourself to luxury travel.

A pate of duck and foie gras of duck is the first course.

Located in one of France’s most famous train stations, you depart there for Burgundy, the south of France, and other exotic destinations. The famous Simplon Orient Express also left from here – the Gare de Lyon – including to Venice.

Before the days of commercial air travel, going by train was the fastest mode of transportation.

While most were modest and functional, trains could also be very indulgent, including private rooms, complete with a posh dining car. Some times, trains were the location for homicide, as retold by Agatha Christie in Murder on the Orient Express. 

There’s a wide range of wines by the glass.

For the privileged class – royalty, aristocracy, and the wealthy – it was practically mandatory to dine at Le Train Bleu before you went off on a trip. Today, train travel does not carry the same cache as in yesteryears. The Simplon Orient Express still exists but a more harried generation prefers a more hurried means of getting from point A to X, Y, Z by flying.

This set menu can be served within an hour.

This is great news for the rest of us because Le Train Bleu is no longer so elite nor wildly expensive. At the same time, it has lost none of its sumptuous grandeur. The food – and service – is good too.

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