A restaurant with distinct styling
Go to one of the Eiffel tower’s restaurants, 58 Tour Eiffel, to see the style and design of a well known Parisian designer. Buy your ticket on line and save yourself a possible one and a half hours waiting in line.
On this second visit to the restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel, I want to feel the ambiance of Patrick Jouin‘s design and style as well as enjoy the restaurant’s picnic-in-a-basket lunch. Around Paris, you see the works of Mr. Jouin either on the street with the Velib’ bicycles or the “sanisettes” (public toilets) or in the design of the shoe department at Galeries Lafayette.
Renovated in 2009, everything in the two restaurants (the le Jules Verne and 58) of the Eiffel Tower relate to the tower’s structure. I want to pay more attention to the design of 58’s chairs, the menu, the place setting, the lamps, the colors, and the symbols on the tiles and bathroom doors.
Picking up the picnic basket
When you are welcomed into the 58 Tour Eiffel and shown to your table, your brightly colored menu explains the procedure. In sum, you follow the instructions. Your picnic basket contains your cold items; your server delivers your drink and hot main course and your bill once you ask for it. For details visit their site, click on “Discover” , and find answers to their “Service”, “Cuisine”, and “Practical information”, plus videos of the experience.
Check the 58Tour Eiffel site for current lunch, dinner and Bastille Day menu prices. The three-course children’s menu includes a cold starter (perhaps ratatouille), pasta (perhaps macaroni with either butter, tomato sauce or parmesan) and a yummy dessert (could be praline and chocolate cake). The children can also order à la carte if they would like hamburger and fries. The adult and child menus are seasonal and change in April and October.
The Eiffel Tower’s first paint job and the restaurant
The tower’s first coat of paint in 1889 was red iron ocher. You find this contrasting copper color set against the rich chocolate color of the décor in the napkins, on the cover of the menu and on doors. The tiles below the kitchen counter are fish and plants taken from nineteenth century dictionary illustrations – timely for the building of the Eiffel Tower.
Light travels through the hairnet steel Gustave chairs and through the large windows. This gives the atmosphere of the restaurant a certain lightness that contrasts beautifully with the lightness of the food.
The interior design of the 58 is the work of Patrick Jouin (also the Jules Verne restaurant designer) and Pierre Tachon in collaboration with the famous chef, Alain Ducasse. Nothing is left to chance. Weight is very important in the tower; everything must be light. Even the food is prepared below ground; the chickens are emptied, the vegetables washed and peeled.
Passing the time after lunch
Life at 58Tour Eiffel moves smoothly between the meal times. Lunch is over at 58Tour Eiffel around 5:30 p.m. The ambiance is already changing by 3:30 p.m. One of the waitresses and the maitre’d are conducting the changeover from lunch to dinner. They have been through several restaurant and theme changes over the years on this very floor; when it was “La Belle France”, “Le Parisien”, “Altitude 95”. The music is changing tonight as every night from modern to lounge, the tables are set with wine goblets, the lighting will be subtle enough to avoid reflection on the glass.
After lunch, as we are ready to leave, when suddenly I notice my emptied water glass. It has a deep inward projecting curve on the bottom. What part of the tower is represented in this glass?
Parts of the tower’s structure run visibly through the restaurant. Our table is located next to the window on the second floor of the 58, with a view directly in front of les Jardins du Trocadéro. I look up and see the beams; I look down at the balustrade and walkway below — but the hints about this glass shape are hidden from view.
As we leave the 58 looking for the stairway down, I hear tapping from above. Every seven years, the Eiffel Tower is refurbished, scraped, pounded and painted. Looking up I see four workers attached by ropes to the East pillar of the tower. They are tapping away the rusty spots and the old crusty paint pieces with their multilayer of colors from the past, which are falling to the ground.
The sun is shining, I look to the South pillar and there, shining brightly in the sunshine against a cloudless sky are hundreds of curves that resemble the bottom of my water glass. Coincidence or reality? In my mind, I have solved the mystery!
Fast track to the restaurant
When you reserve a dinner at the 58 you receive an email confirmation from the restaurant. For lunch at the 58, you can reserve if you are a group of more than ten adults. They always have room at lunch since it is a buffet system and they can handle up to 250 people between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Individuals or groups under ten people cannot buy the reduced price tickets or use the special elevator. Speak to the agent in the kiosk on how to proceed to the special elevator entrance marked with flags for the restaurants. Only the restaurant, Jules Verne, has its own elevator.
RESTAURANT 58 TOUR EIFFEL
Tour Eiffel Esplanade du Champs de Mars 75007 PARIS Telephone: +33 1 72 76 18 46
Check their website for the latest twinkling and opening times during different seasons of the year.
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