Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Essex Eating in Paris - Terminus Nord

I'm quite a big fan of all things Art Deco, and on my recent trip to Paris I made sure to make a reservation at Terminus Nord, which is located more or less opposite the Gare Du Nord Station, where the Eurostar arrives.

Terminus Nord is an authentic Art Deco Brasserie, circa 1925. The interior is original and it's gorgeous. Wood panelling, Black Leather Booths, Brass Rails and fittings, mirrors everywhere -classically attired waiters, black tie, waistcoat and white apron flit purposefully from table to table, the service is impeccable.

Nowadays, the restaurant is more of a staging post for travellers at the station across the road, rather than a destination in it's own right. Evidenced by the waiters expertly maneuvering wheeled suitcases around, with well heeled businessmen in tow.

As for the food.
There's quite an extensive menu, but we opted to eat from the lunchtime set menu.
For starters, my GF and I both went for Foie Gras with toasted Poilane bread and rhubarb chutney. A simple enough starter, with quality ingredients - it was really very good, the Foie Gras was smooth and buttery, the toasted Poilane was suitably rustic and the rhubarb chutney added a nice tangy sweetness to cut through the other flavours. Great stuff.

For Mains, again we both went for the same choice - Grilled Rumpsteak, medium rare with Beurre maitre d'hotel (Parsley butter to me.) This was served with pommes frites and a grilled tomato. Again, it was really nicely done, the steak was nicely charred on the outside and suitable pink in the middle - the slab of parsley butter melting over the meat and pooling with the juices underneath is making my mouth water just thinking about it. The chips in particular were excellent, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Finally me moved onto dessert. I say 'we' but actually I mean 'I'. The Girlfriend declared herself stuffed and out of the game, and to be fair it was quite a big lunch really.
Myself being somewhat larger and a hell of a lot more greedy, decided a classic was in order so went for the Creme Brulee.

It was OK. But, this being Paris - and this being the epitome of your classic brasserie I was expecting creamy perfection. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what was wrong with it, but Ive eaten a lot of creme brulee's and this one wasn't great.

Despite the meal ending on a bit of a low note, overall I enjoyed myself. On the whole, the food was good- not cooked with the flair I found in the the other restaurants I ate at whilst in Paris, but Terminus Nord provided solid, classic Brasserie dishes cooked competently. Also, on the plus side, the service was excellent - brisk and efficient and that interior is amazing to look at, you really feel like your getting a glimpse of another, more glamorous age and that's worth the money alone.

Incidentally, the three course set menu came in at 31 Euros per person.

As a side note, If your interested in seeing a representation of the interior for yourself, but don't have the time, money or inclination to travel to Paris then head to the recently beautifully refurbished St Pancras station in London, where you'll find the
St Pancras Grand restaurant, which has been modelled on Terminus Nord.

Terminus Nord
23 rue de Dunkerque,



The Ample Cook said...

What a fabulous meal Dan. Shame about the creme brulee though. As you say, you'd expect to find a top notch one there wouldn't you? Your trip to Paris looked great - and 3 great posts telling us all about it.

I like the look of the decor and menu at St Pancras. I'd really like to give that a go.

Anonymous said...

another excellent write up! And those chips look moreish. Shame about the afters, but this looks like great value, will be sure to check it out when we go back!

Dan said...

Thanks Jan - I'm planning on giving St Pancras Grand a go at some point too. It's had pretty good reviews, and the interior is supposedly cracking.

Gastrogeek - Thanks! Visit Terminus Nord for sure, it's almost less about the food (which is great - but not amazing, and more about the experience, almost a glimpse of a more elegant age. Also, fantastic for people watching - the fellow diners all seemed very well heeled and into their food. Well worth the visit.

Unknown said...

Glad you enjoyed it Dan - I am off to Paris for three weeks soon so any other tips you have (besides Terminus Nord which I have been to) are welcome!