Le Dôme Montparnasse

108 Boulevard du Montparnasse

75014 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 43 35 25 81


The Food:

Plateau de Dôme

Millefeuille Napoleon with rum and vanilla

The Wine:

2016 Domaine Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru La Forest   93

I was very pleased to be nimble enough with my phone to snag a last-minute lunch reservation at Le Dôme Montparnasse just a few minutes before closing on a cold Sunday afternoon.

A veritable Parisian institution, Le Dôme was founded in 1898 and gained its early fame as a favorite haunt of writers, artists and intellectuals. Le Dôme was highly recommended by several locals. This very casual lunch certainly did not disappoint.

Le Dôme is located in the 14th arrondissement, not too far from the Montparnasse train station. The kitchen, under the direction of Japanese Chef Yoshihiko Miura, offers an extensive menu of mostly seafood and fish. Be warned: this is not the place to visit if you are craving steak frites. From what I have been able to gather, this part of town has a large population of residents originally from Brittany. Fishermen would bring their catch into Paris via the train. Eventually, many of them settled in the neighborhood.

Plateau de Dôme

The first thing I saw when I walked in was the Napoleon being served to the last of the lunch crowd. That was a good sign. Not wanting to deal with the large choice of dishes and really in the mood for something light, I ordered the Plateau de Dôme, one of the several seafood platters on the menu. Our waiter had to check if it was still available given the late hour, but fortunately, the oyster shucker was still in the house.

After a short wait, the Plateau arrived. What a treat. I have fond memories of eating a seafood tower with my parents when I was a kid, so this lunch brought back so many memories of those early trips to Paris. Everything is absolutely delicious. The oysters are wonderfully briny. The crab, and especially the baby shrimp, require a combination of patience and manual dexterity, but every bite is worth the effort.

Le Dôme offers a small but well-chosen, unfussy wine list. I could not resist the 2016 Chablis La Forest 1er Cru from Vincent Dauvissat. I can’t think of too many things I would rather eat and drink than this food and this wine. With a little age, the 2016 La Forest is exquisite. Light on its feet and yet wonderfully layered, it is sublime today. Light citrus, floral, sage and mineral inflections dance on the palate. It should continue to drink well for another decade or more.

Millefeuille Napoleon with rum and vanilla

I am not the biggest dessert fan, but there was no way I was going to pass on that Millefeuille Napoleon. Just a bite or two is enough. Well, maybe more than that. It’s a super-classic and not-too-sweet finale to this simple but deeply satisfying lunch.

Aside from the obligatory foie gras dish, the menu at Le Dôme is pretty much all fish and seafood. I can’t say if the other options are as good as the seafood tower, but I have made it a point to find out very soon.

Paris can be a challenging city for eating, especially on the weekends, when so many places are closed. Le Dôme is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, which makes it a very useful address. Service is incredibly professional and friendly.

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