We read that this restaurant was built to impress foreign visitors coming to Paris for an exposition in 1900 (I think). It is a marvelous Belle Epoque design. When we sat down, my wife said, "It still does!" The decor is very ornate and very beautiful and the food was also wonderful. The gilded arches and ceiling are decorated with beautifully painted scenes from the regions of France served by the Gare de Lyon. The prices are not cheap, but it was worth every Euro. Use it for a special occasion or "splurge meal."
We met a local artist, Dan Jacobsen, whose work was on display at La Defense. His 'thing' is juxtaposing Paris landmarks with other unlikely scenes or objects. He did one of Le Train Bleu which was on the card the restaurant used to enclose 'l'addition." You can see it in the main photo.
Our most recent visit was in June 2008 when our children took us here the last night of our 50th anniversary trip. What a spectacular evening, place and meal we had.
Favorite Dish: On our first visit I had foie gras, duck and Baba Rhum for dessert. I didn't know what the dessert was but had heard the term so had to try it. They bring out a not small sponge cake and proceed to drench it in rum. They even left the bottle in case I wanted more. It was so rich I could hardly eat it all, but I did! All the food was excellent.
On our second visit I was sitting next to my grandson Nick (VT member profphat) who ordered a cheese plate for a starter. When the waiter put the huge cheese board down beside the table, I told Nick that it was his cheese plate. For about 3 seconds before he realized I was joking his eyes got really big. He wanted chocolate mousse for dessert but it was not on the menu. I persuaded him to share a plate of profiteroles with me and both our eyes got big as the waiter began to pour chocolate syrup on the large scoops of ice cream and pastries. He almost ran the plate over. Nick and I did manage to finish it all off as it was really tasty.
Inaugurated in april 1901, le Train Bleu (called after the Paris-Vintimille train), has been classified as an historical monument in 1972 : the ceiling is indeed spectacular : the 41 frescos retrace the journey made by the trains of the PLM railway network at the beginning of the 20th century - Many people in the wold have catched a glimpse of it (in a scene in Luc Besson's film "Nikita").
You come to the Train Bleu to see the deco, to talk, to meet people (i had my first VT meeting there, Thanks Beatchick) and even to eat.
It's a place where the time is somewhat slower (like the service) - a bit of the past in a TGV (bullet train station).
The food (traditional, slighly south-west french cooking) is perfectly decent (no double somersault of joy but no disapointment - maybe a bit too expensive for what is in the- well presented - plate) is a bit secondary.
PS : The restaurant is obviously geared toward tourists (no wonder in a railway station) and is aware of USAmerican tourists' idiosyncracies : i had to ask for a french menu : the one i got first was in english (with german and spanish subtitles) and it was the first time in my life were i got butter on the table beside the bread ( served on a plate with a knife) in a french restaurant.
Restaurant : Open everyday of the year 11:30am-3pm & 7-11pm
Bar (le Big-Ben : a tribute to the British people who, on their way to the french riviera at the beginning of the 20th century used to have some alcoholic 'refuel') open Monday-Friday 7:30am-11pm
Favorite Dish: What i tried :
Saucisson chaud pistach?, Cabillaud plancha and baba au rhum (huge) : not extraordinary but good (and since the company was great....)
All in all an enjoyable,unhurried, moment.
Outside the restaurant the controlled chaos of a "grand ligne" train station surrounds you. Once you climb the stairs and enter you are in a different era.
Things are very much as they were at the turn of the century. There still is the smaller informal cafe underneath the stairs where the servants of the travellers eating in Le Train Bleu would wait.
When we stopped by for a drink the bar was full so they let us sit at a table in the main restaurant.
On a more recent visit [see below] I ate here and was able to get some more pictures of the interior.
Favorite Dish: I had the pleasure of eating here in February 2006 with a group of people for various internet travel boards including VT. Many of us had the "menu rejane" -- pictures are my salmon [delish] and the "veau blanquette", which was reported as very yummy.
Gare de Lyon in the 12th has a beautiful high-end restaurant called Le Train Bleu.
Gorgeous frescoes and 1900 grand belle epoque interior.
Some say it is "touristy" but if you are catching a train into the south from Gare de Lyon, at least check it out.
Note: If you can't make it to Gare de Lyon and if you like movies, Anne Parillaud has an absolutely killer shoot-em-up scene filmed inside restaurant Le Train Bleu in the film "La Femme Nikita"
Favorite Dish: Foie gras de canard des "Treilles;" escargot Burgundy, and the Filet de bœuf grillé with sauce béarnaise.
Everyone talks about the duck and the baba rhum desserts but the ambience, even though in the train station is the high point.
Expensive, most entrees are about 30 Euros each, and they have a decent wine list.
As always, it is cheaper for lunch.
Oh my word, this is the last word in Belle Epoque elegance, so regardless of whether you're looking to splash out on a really over-the-top gourmet meal amid sumptuous surroundings, or merely seeking a refuge for a restorative beverage before/after a long rail trip, this is the place to be!
Le Train Bleu at at Gare de Lyon is a no-holds-barred shrine to Art Nouveau architecture, which you will either love or hate, but are very unlikely to be ambivalent about - 'restraint' was not the hallmark of the era! The artwork is a technicolour onslaught to the senses, and although I find the lavish guilding and other overblown furnishings to be less to my taste, as long as I can admire the walls and ceiling, I'm deliriously happy!
As you might expect, this is not a budget place to eat or drink. However, in addition to the a la carte menu, the restaurant offers set menus which, though pricey, are not outlandishly expensive by Parisian standards. I didn't eat there, but I treated myself to a beer, which, at €6 (which is about the going rate for a beer in a tourist location in Paris) also came with a handful of peanuts, five rather tasty green olives and a few scrumptious pieces of pickled garlic. All that in this stunning setting - bargain!!!
When the Universal Exhibtion came to Paris in 1900, the train station "Gare de Lyon" was built, and what is now this beautiful restaurant in Second-Empire Style was at that time just a place for a quick buffet for tired traveller's.
When you walk in, the decor will take your breath away--it's stunning.
Everything is beautiful, but it's the frescoes which are really incredible. The frescoes show you views of the different cities through which you would pass if you would travel by train from Paris to Lyon.
This really is one of those places you want to go if you want to turn your dinner into a "dining experience to remember".
Favorite Dish: Grilled fillet of beef with bernaise sauce---hmmm.
Because I was doing research on a book involving film settings in Paris and because various people wanted to meet up with me from VT & Fodor's, I opted to have our VT meeting/GTG at Le Train Bleu for 12 people at the "Nikita" tables. Gorgeous setting of gilded ceiling with murals depicting scenes where le Train Bleu once made its run.
I asked one of the servers if we were sitting at the same tables as in the assassination scene in Nikita & he confirmed. BTW, I didn't realize that Milla Jovovich was married to Nikita's director, Luc Besson. Found that out from the bartender at L'Hôtel; but they're now divorced.
It was fascinating & fantastic to meet shrimp56, tsarina, Mariev, Pixfield & mittnic from VT along with Nikki & Michael Osman from Fodor's as well as a couple that strolled in looking for a table. We'd had a few people drop out so we just invited this couple along.
Michael Osman & his partner, Scott, are everything you've read about and more! Both are charming, sweet, funny, patient; I can see exactly why they are great with kids and families. Let me just say that Michael Osman is worth at least twice as much as he charges. But Michael is kind and charges the paltry amount that he does because he wants to ensure that he can help the families, which is really, really nice. He is humble, too! When Nikki remarked that it was wonderful meeting the famous Michael Osman, that she'd read so many great things about him, he quipped "and they're not all written by my mother". He's just too funny.
It was great meeting everyone else, too. The evening turned out to be a 5 hour event with all of us swapping stories & quips across the table. Just an amazing night overall!
Michael & I were supposed to tromp around Montmartre late at night my last night but because we got out of Le Train Bleu well past midnight that proved an impossibility.
Favorite Dish: Despite being told that the food is generally mediocre I found it to be one of the best dining experiences this trip. 10 of the 12 of us settled on the 44€ menu rejane (details can be found on the website).
I loved my entrée of saucisson chaud, which is a Lyonnaise sausage with potatoes and pistachios. It was fantastic.
For the main dish I tried the wonderful roast salmon dish which came with an orange chicory sauce. The menu description said there were cocoa chips in the dish, which made me waffle on my decision, but I neither saw nor tasted the cocoa chips so it was a very subtle flavoring. It was faboo!
Pixfield gave me a taste of his veal blanquette and it was equally fantastic; in essence, you couldn't go wrong with any of the dishes from the menu rejane.
Dessert was "dessert of the day", Gateau au Chocolat that had the texture of warm chocolate mousse with a scoop of ice cream floating on top. Michael joked that it was an inverted ice cream sundae, and he was right!
Photos: February 2006
The main attraction of Le Train Blue is of course its abundant ornamental decoration. Once you have entered the place you are overwhelmed by the Belle-Epoque chandeliers, brass, frescos and sculptured angels. The interior originates from 1901 and the wall and ceiling paintings depict railroad scenes from that era. The aim of the design was to impress travellers which it did and still does quite successfully.
Favorite Dish: We very wisely made a reservation a week in advance to have lunch here. For starters I had the 'vanilla-flavoured velvet crab and celeriac purée with almond milk'. My main dish was plaice with mushrooms and salsifies (served too cold unfortunately. Must be due to the huge distances between the kitchen and the tables). The dessert was the best part: 'plateau des fromages'. I know that doesn't sound too appealing, but forget the traditional image when you can have a choice of 5 or 6. Our waiter, very wisely, decided not to ask which ones on the enormous tray we would like, but simply provided a portion of ALL. We ended up with a 'selection' of 17 delicious French cheeses! We had a Chateau Labadie (Medoc) and a Petit Chablis to have this delicious lunch washed down elegantly.
Everything they say about the decor is true. The food is fine, just not Three Star cooking. I had the veal chop and it was perhaps a little tough, but still delicious. My wife's lamb was excellent. The waiter was a true pro--there when you needed him and able to reply in English or in French depending on who asked the questions. The murals and gilded walls truly make this a historic monument and well as a culinary destination. Be ready to pay a hefty price. Call ahead for reservations. Also, according to a sign I saw, it is smoke-free as of January 1, 2007.
Favorite Dish: Desserts: the vacherin and the gateau au chocolat
Le Train Bleu is a restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon. It started its business in 1901 and the interior is truly breathtaking! There are painting showing the destinations that can be reached by train from the Gare de Lyon, lots of gold, sculptures - absolutely fantastic!
We found out about Le Train Bleu thanks to a VT meeting and went there for a drink and a short hello. It was wonderful to experience the atmosphere plus talk to travelers from the US, France, Sweden and Germany, so this was a lot of fun!
Plus we will always remember this place as the place with the most expensive beer that we ever had: 0.5 l for 9 €!!! But it was worth it!
The enviroment is beautifull and at the same time impressive.
That's the only positive remark I could give to this restaurant.
The other qualifications are far more negative:
- low quality food
- lukewarmly served
- no time left between the different dishes
- extremely non polite waiters
Absurd high prices are asked for this non dinner.
This is a historical resto, right inside gare de Lyon in Paris. Very popular with visitors too. I try it because had to travel thru to Switzerland a lot, so when in. A bit touristic and overpriced. The food is good,and it has great decoration,and good views over the platforms.
Its not intimately good for me, but posted, train station or airport food normally is not good, this one is a bit above but again overprice and I think over advertise.
Favorite Dish: i went to the Big Ben bar,had coffees, and salads, the rest is overprice.
Le Train Bleu
The most atmospheric restaurant I've ever visited.
Wonderful painted ceilings, fantastic food. The waiter was extremely polite, he was even helpful looking up a word for me in the dictionary (which I discreetly had hidden out of his sight, I thought) And, as a last surprise, when we left he gave all the ladies in the company our own 'Blue train' ashtray as a souvenir!
Favorite Dish: Côte de Veau poëlée Foyot
If you go on their site, you'll see the incredible surroundings of this restaurant. It's historical monument from 1972, built in 1900, and has 41 paintings on the ceiling and walls. Service is efficient, fast, friendly, food is very good, and the price is according to the place where you are, expensive, but not overpriced. Fodd quality is very good, as well as the quantity. (Important for me).
Favorite Dish: I had a beef "steak tartare" that was prepared in front of me, was delicious. My wife had lamb, that was cut right in front of us. And as an entrée, foie gras with salad and magret de canard.
This is without a doubt the finest restaurant I have ever been in. Located above the Gare De Lyon train station it has a vibe that is all about travel, elegance and fine food.