L’Étoile du Nord: New from Chef Thierry Marx at the Gare du Nord in Paris

L’Étoile du Nord: New from Chef Thierry Marx at the Gare du Nord in Paris

Ever since the Eurostar train service began between France and Britain in 1994, the dark, draughty grey Gare du Nord in Paris has become a place where thousands of travellers find themselves whiling away long, dull periods of time without the option of a decent meal nearby. (To be sure, there are restaurants in the vicinity, but my old favourite, the brasserie Terminus Nord, has become expensive and irregular.)

What this has often meant is a sad industrial sandwich from a newsagent or a café, hardly a fitting way to celebrate one’s arrival in or departure from Paris. Now, though, chef Thierry Marx, who has two Michelin stars at his restaurant Sur Mesure at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, has opened a pleasant new brasserie in a modern-style chalet inside the train station. It’s a three-in-one address that includes a brasserie, a wine bar with small plates, and a bakery that sells excellent sandwiches, including pastrami and pickles and smoked salmon with cream cheese and candied lemon.

courtesy of L’Étoile du Nord, Paris

The real good news here, however, is the menu, since the brasserie serves a selection of very good and fairly-priced dishes often inspired by the kitchens of the northern destinations the station serves. Meeting a friend for lunch before a train to Amsterdam, we started with maître charcutier Gilles Verot’s L’Étoile du Nord terrine, a rich mixture of meat seasoned with the juniper berries used to flavour gin in Britain and Holland, as well as game dishes in both countries, and gravlax-style salmon that nodded north at Scandinavia.

The main courses were appealing, too. Seared scallops came with roasted cauliflower and pink grapefruit, while one of the great comfort-food plates of northern France and Belgium – endive rolled in ham and cooked in a béchamel sauce – came to the table bubbling under a cap of melted Comté cheese. The stand-out dessert was a crispy Liège-style waffle with a fan of baked apple and a scoop of freshly-made caramel ice-cream. The young service is friendly and bilingual, and the quiet, glassed-walled dining room is a peaceful perch from which to observe France’s busiest station.

L’Étoile du Nord, Gare du Nord (eastern wing of the waiting room), 18 rue de Dunkerque, Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 36 54 36. Average €35, lunch menu €24. Website: www.letoiledunord.fr/labrasserie and www.facebook.com/etoiledunordparis

From France Today magazine

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Alexander Lobrano grew up in Connecticut, and lived in Boston, New York and London before moving to Paris, his home today, in 1986. He was European Correspondent for Gourmet magazine from 1999 until its closing, and has written about food and travel for Saveur, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Travel & Leisure, Departures, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the author of HUNGRY FOR PARIS, 2nd Edition (Random House, 4/2014), HUNGRY FOR FRANCE (Rizzoli, 4/2014), and MY PLACE AT THE TABLE, newly published in June 2021.

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  • Bob Rogers
    2017-06-22 06:47:26
    Bob Rogers
    Moi aussi !


  • gbinge1
    2017-06-22 03:45:29
    J'ai prend un croquet monsieur.