Between the Champs Elysees and the gilded Alexandre III bridge, in a wing of the impressive Grand Palais and just opposite the Petit Palais, is the Mini Palais restaurant - although the only thing mini about it is its name. Opened in 2010, the grand restaurant was styled by architects Gilles & Boissier who created a clean setting in this large, high-ceilinged space, inspired by the idea of the artists studio, with marble details, grand mirrors and decorated with sculptures as a reference to its artistic setting. On one side of the restaurant are windows looking onto the vast and immense interior of the Grand Palais, on the other side is the wide terrace bordered by neo-classical columns and palm trees, onto the Petit Palais. The menu has been conceived by three Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon of Le Bristol and is suitably refined and impressive for the setting. The dishes all put the quality and flavour of individual ingredients in the spotlight, and feature fish from renewable sources as part of the adorably named Mr Good Fish scheme. There are several of Frechon's signature dishes on the menu, including the Asian-influenced golden cod in coriander and lemongrass broth (below) and a deliciously decadent giant rum baba with vanilla ice cream. The fare and the setting can also be enjoyed for afternoon tea, or for a bite to eat at any time of the day with a snack menu being served outside of mealtimes. The sublime setting, the excellent food, the reasonable prices, the location so near to many iconic Parisian monuments and attractions, and the fact that food is served all day every day all add up to this being a great restaurant to know about - and a great destination for visitors to Paris who are hungry after a shlep up the Champs Elysees but still have their high standards in tact.
at the Grand Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
Tel: 01 42 56 42 42
Open everyday, 10am - 2am
All photos copyright Kim Laidlaw