Our TGV was scheduled to leave Paris at 20:37. (8:37 PM) This gave us plenty of time for a good dinner in Paris. Who would think of eating at the train station. But yes, there is a wonderful Brasserie at the Gare de Lyon. You should make reservations. The dining room doesn’t open for dinner until 7:00 so our timing was perfect.
Again the staff was great. Dinner was excellent. The chef is Jean-Pierre Hocquet. Jacques and I split a first course entrée of fois gras. Amazing! Then he chose steak tartar while I chose a grilled veal chop served with pasta and morille mushrooms. The veal was tender and delicious. We had coffee and headed down to Hall 2 and our train to Avignon.
The Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean (PLM) Company built the restaurant for the Universal Exhibition in 1900. In the beginning, it was called the “Buffet de la Gare de Lyon” (Lyon Station Buffet).
The greatest painters of the time contributed to the magnificent decor of this buffet. There are forty-one paintings on its walls and ceilings – the most famous amongst them represent the landscapes traversed by the trains of the PLM network. The golden-wood paneling, the paintings, the brass luggage racks and the bench seats recreate the heavily ornamented atmosphere of the early 19th century. This looks more like a movie set than a real restaurant. Below was the meal I ate. Soooo good.
We sat here while we waited for the dining room to open.
Since its inauguration by Emile Loubet, the President of the French Republic, on 7th April 1901, customers have been flocking to the restaurant. Regulars have included Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali and Jean Gabin. The restaurant is still as popular as ever: some 500 diners are served every day at the Train Bleu.
A number of filmmakers used the restaurant in their films. Luc Besson immortalised the restaurant in his film “Nikita”.. Nicole Garcia in “Place Vendôme” ,Pierre Jolivet in “Filles Uniques and Steve Bendelack in « Les vacances de Mister Bean ».