The new Maison Astor, on rue d’Astorg in Paris has a motto. Friendliness and charm. The bar is called the “club” and serves real food and cocktails at a reasonable price, the dining room has special lunch menus for 39€ and a glass roof open on the 131 rooms of this Haussmanian house built in Proust’s times across the street from Comtesse Greffulhe’s private house. I had lunch there and liked the atmosphere, the skate and toasted foie gras.
The decor of the hotel is funky enough to be entertaining and yet the velvet armchairs are very confortable. The light is fantastic in the dining room where a large chandelier hanging from the glass roof with Baccarat beads, is the focus of the room. Located near the Madeleine, which has become over the years one of the most practical centers of Paris, it is halfway between Opera and the Champs Elysées, with all the department stores, Faubourg Saint Honoré fashion shops and its embassies, a block away.
The food is slightly sophisticated with the classical foie gras, beef of excellent provenance and an Asian touch in some of the starters. I loved of course the chocolate soufflé and strawberry mille feuilles which was delicate and light. The hotel used to be a discreet meeting place for secret service agents from the nearby Ministry of Interior, it will be a definitely low key and luxurious hang out for all of us who hate flashy spots and a smiling welcome. I have not tried the rooms but judging by the affluence this month, they must be confortable.
Because the evenings are especially quiet on rue d’Astorg, there is a special menu for 29€ and a dining room for 18 in the back if you hold a seminar. This is unbeatable in central Paris. (Maison Astor, 11 rue d’Astorg)
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