Lunch at Jules Verne and Visiting Eiffel Tower
 by Ya & Shi

Jules Verne reopened recently.  It's now part of the empire of the celebrity chef Alain Ducasse.  It's located on the second level of the Eiffel Tower.


Reservations are now handled solely on the web.  Prix fixe lunch costs 75 euros per person.  There's a 48h cancelation policy (your credit card number is required as a guarantee).

I reserved for a Monday for 1:30 pm.

There's a special elevator at Pilier Sud (south pillar) that goes to the restaurant.  When we arrived, our names were checked off the list, and an attendant accompanied us up in the elevator ride.

The Meal
Here's a photo of the lunch menu.
We had a table facing Ecole Militaire and Champ de Mars. Service was a little perfunctory and snooty. I guess there are just too many tourists.  The food is ok, but it wasn't anything really memorable. I'd say I don't regret it, but I wasn't overwhelmed either. In a way, I'm glad that it wasn't terrible since I'd read some horror stories about the restaurant online.
A bottle of Evian cost 10 euros.  (Lunch without the wine pairing, as mentioned, was 75 euros.)
Eiffel Tower Access via Jules Verne
As mentioned, having lunch (or dinner) at Jules Verne allows you to bypass the masses waiting to go up the Eiffel Tower.   There's a flight of stairs from the restaurant down to the upper level of the second level observation deck.  Thus, in effect, the cost to get to the second level of the Eiffel Tower can be deducted from the price of the meal.  (At the time of writing, June 2008, the cost of reaching the second level was 7.80 euros with the elevator and 4 euros with the stairs.)
For access to the top of the Eiffel Tower, there are ticket machines on the second floor that sell supplementary tickets (4.20 euros).  I noticed that there were machines that accepted coins or credit cards.  I couldn't get the machines that accepted coins to work, but after trying a few times, I got the machine that took credit cards to work.  At that time, the manned ticket counter also opened.

We waited about 40 minutes to get up.  By the time we were done, the line was considerably shorter.
We felt that when viewed from the top of the Eiffel Tower (as compared to the second level), most buildings had more "depth."  In that sense, the wait to get to the top was very worthwhile.  At the top of the Tower, there's an observation deck outdoors, and there's also one indoors.

I was wondering if we had to buy a ticket to go down from the second floor since we used the private elevator for Jules Verne.  The answer was no. No one checked tickets on the way down.

The First Level of the Eiffel Tower
There's a post office on this level.
I think this must be where André Kertész (a well known Hungarian photographer who lived in Paris and New York City) snapped one of his famous photos.  See a sample of what I mean at the Photographers Gallery website.

Eiffel Tower Statistics
About 14 million visitors visited the Tower in 2006 and 2007.

The Tower is 324 m (823 ft) tall.  (By contrast, the Empire State Building is 443.2 m/1453 ft tall.)
The restaurant Jules Verne is at an altitude of 123 m.
Here's a YouTube video taken in an Eiffel Tower eleavtor during the same visit.
Websites and Links


© 2008 Ya & Shi