For Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon, opening a 110-seat restaurant in the heart of Paris's busiest train station (Gare Saint-Lazare) was effectively a way to reconnect with his democratic, bistrot past.
The Bristol Hotel chef and former Christian Constant disciple is an avowed proponent of no-fuss, simple food executed to perfection. He jumped at the chance to dedicate a space to his special brand of cooking when he was approached by the SNCF transport company. With the bandages off on the train station after a multimillion-euro refurbishment project, it was missing a dining space worthy of its new image—a destination for transients and locals alike, open morning, noon, and night.
Frechon stepped in to offer a wildly accessible, haute casual menu of French comfort classics in a gorgeous, lofty space that is equal parts café/bar and swish restaurant. In addition to the full menu, expect daily specials, a robust wine selection, and a standout dessert that will have you returning time and again: the Paris-Deauville, a sweet homage to Normandy, his birthplace, in the form of a caramelized, cold soufflé.
The classic brasserie has experienced considerable decline in recent years, but with Lazare, Frechon revives the iconic 'lieu de vie' with deft style.