Everyone knows that the Marmottan is one of Pariss hidden treasures. So well hidden, in fact, that few people have actually been there. Paris-bound art lovers forget that, to have any hope of seeing the Monets and Claudels, they need not only a detailed map and a handheld GPS receiver, but a reliable compass as well. Without this last useful instrument (invented by the ancient Phoenicians, who also invented money) they can easily end up wandering around the Trocadero, asking for directions from passers-by who, more often than not, are also trying to find the Marmottan.
Regardless of whether they ever get to the museum, visitors have to eat lunch. This applies also to persons who are lucky enough to attend meetings at the nearby headquarters of the OECD. Basically, the situation is dire, since the area around the La Muette metro station is very badly served, even by the miserable standards that prevail in Paris. But, like old Tiresias, you reviewer has foresuffered all, and out of bitter experience has distilled this useful set of capsule reviews:
31 rue Vital / +33 1 45 20 33 00
See the recent full Chowhound review. Pricey.
Le Bistrot des Vignes
1 rue Jean Bologne / +33 1 45 27 76 64
Probably the best of the bunch. A nice middle ground between leaden traditional amd gimmicky modern.
71 avenue Paul Doumer / +33 1 45 04 12 81
Seafood only, but quite competent. Of special interest is the 19th century French brothel color scheme.
Le Relais du Bois
1 rue Guy de Maupassant / +33 1 45 04 27 60
Very, very traditional, but good execution. Sort of a Jurassic Parc of a restaurant.
9 rue Nicolo / +33 1 42 88 77 86
Reliable general-purpose Japanese.
Le Bois Le Vent
59 rue Boulainvilliers / +33 1 45 27 62 23
10 rue Mignard / +33 1 45 03 01 19
OK, NOT GREAT:
8 Chaussée de la Muette / +33 1 42 88 50 05
12 avenue Mozart / +33 1 45 27 62 45
Bustling, picturesque. Was once great, but the new owners have gone over to the Dark Side.
19 Chaussée de la Muette / +33 1 42 15 15 31
Some people like the yup-scale atmosphere, but it makes this reviewers teeth ache. Noted for its arrogant young staff.
GOOD FOR PICKING UP A SANDWICH/SALAD FOR A PICNIC NEAR THE LA FONTAINE STATUE:
La Flute Enchantée
7 avenue Mozart
6 Chaussée de la Muette
SPECIAL WARNING: ON NO ACCOUNT EAT HERE:
Settebello (formerly the over-rated Natachef, now completely useless)
Le Flandrin (nasty upscale underworld dive: tacky gold jewellery, double-parked Porsche SUVs, etc.)
Pasta e Vino
Le Parc de la Muette (particularly vile!)
The Brasserie (the line is for lottery tickets, not food)
Any Greek or Chinese place, or take-out sushi
It would be impossible to list all of the other third- and fourth-rate dumps that populate this part of the 16th arrondissement, and that masquerade as bistrots, brasseries or restaurants. The reader is simply asked to believe that any establishment that is not listed above isnt worth a damn.
(Where phone numbers are given, best to reserve or at least call ahead)