Metro Station: Gare de Lyon (Lines 1 and 14, RER A and D)
Type of cuisine: French
Days & hours of operation: Mon to Fri Noon – 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – midnight; Sat 7:30 p.m. – midnight
Credit card: Visa, MasterCard
We happened upon this off-the-beaten-path restaurant one night while making our way down rue Traversière in the direction of the Gare de Lyon. One does not normally expect to come upon a fine-dining establishment near a train station, but there it was, with a green awning sheltering big, sparkling, clean windows.
After reading on the Internet that we would get a 20% discount off the price of a meal (beverages and fixed-price menu excluded; mention the word “gold” at the time of the reservation) taken between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., we made a reservation for a Friday evening.
The interior of the restaurant is a visual delight. It has avocado-green walls, chairs draped in cranberry-colored cloth, lemon-colored vinyl benches trimmed in avocado green, gold pillars, and real red tulips in bud vases. The room is spacious and comfortable. Unusual artwork displayed in a tilework-like pattern graces the walls.
We each selected the Pressé de foie gras de canard, compote de date et figue as a starter. The foie gras was served with two small slices of toasted, super-crunchy, multi-grain-cereal bread and a dollop of date-and-pear chutney. The foie gras was smooth and unctuous. The subtle sweetness of the date in the chutney dominated the pear, but the mélange was a good match to offset the slight bitterness of the foie gras.
To accompany the foie gras, we each ordered a glass of semi-sweet Domaine du Tariquet. The wine was light, with a note of fresh pear.
For the main course I opted for the Pigeon du Poitou, navet confit au Porto, pomme gaufrette. I requested that the pigeon be cooked rare and received a very tender, chewy, and succulent bird cut into morsels that rested on a bed of diced turnips cooked in Porto. Waffle potato chips garnished the dish.
I ordered a glass of Domaine Le Cazal Minervois as an accompaniment. Ruby in color, it was slightly astringent and not quite velvety as I would have preferred.
My partner ordered the Magret de canard à la noisette, purée de patate douce à chair orange. She received a surprisingly large portion of perfectly cooked duck breast accompanied by four dollops of sweet potato purée and a medley of sautéed vegetables, including turnips, carrots, asparagus, and pois gourmands.
For her wine accompaniment, my partner ordered a Laibach Merlot Stellebosch from South Africa. She pronounced it earthy in aroma and smooth in texture.
Fresh, sliced demi-baguette was served alongside in a basket.
After the main course, the presentation of the dessert menu brought interesting choices. I selected the Fondant de marron, sorbet rhum, coulis de fruit rouge, crème anglaise. This was a round, warm chestnut cake with a melted interior, served with a scoop of rum-raisin ice cream and custard cream. The custard cream was thin, signaling to me that it was house-made—it was not thick and cloying like prefabricated, ready-to-serve crème anglaise.
My partner opted for the Vacherin à la crème de citron, framboise, balsamique réduit, meringue. Vacherin is a custard dessert. In this case it was lemon custard dotted with balsamic reduction, and garnished with cigarette sticks of meringue. Served in a martini glass, the custard sat atop a cookie-crust pastry. The traditional garnish for this dessert includes raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries, but my partner requested that the dessert be served without this accompaniment because of her dislike for this red fruit. The restaurant graciously honored this request, serving the dessert without the coulis and replacing the fresh raspberries with a blackberry and red currants.
The service was helpful and friendly.
The bill for two persons, including four glasses of wine, two starters, two main courses, two desserts, and one espresso came to 118.60€ after the 20% discount was applied to the food.
Ô Rebelle will close in a few weeks. We advise travelers who wish to dine there to telephone to determine whether the establishment is still open.
Tom Reeves has been a confirmed Francophile since he first traveled to France in 1975. A native of northern California, he moved to France permanently in 1992. Reeves’ love of French language and culture inspired him to create Discover Paris!, a travel planning service that caters to Americans interested in cultural travel to Paris. His book, Paris Insights – An Anthology, has been called “the kind of insider’s view of the French capital…that first or even second time visitors pine for.” He publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Paris Insights about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light, and posts daily information about the French capital on Facebook.