Thursday, July 13, 2017

58 Tour Eiffel Review

Eiffel Tower restaurants

There are certain restaurants in which you need to manage your expectations. Meaning, don't walk in hoping to be wowed, overwhelmed or stunned. The result, I have found, is a better dining experience overall. Paris's 58 Tour Eiffel, the brasserie-style restaurant, on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower is one of those restaurants.

Why We Decided To Eat At 58 Tour Eiffel

We have never climbed any of the platforms at the Eiffel Tower while in Paris because, candidly, we didn't want to fight the tourists or wait in line. On our most recent trip, spanning November and December 2014, we decided to go for it but still didn't want to do the lines so we opted to eat at one of the restaurants, which also grants you access to the Eiffel Tower. We didn't want to do the over-the-top foodie destination that is Jules Verne (especially with a three-year old) nor did we want to do the buffet. Instead we tried 58 Tour Eiffel, knowing full well it would probably be mediocre food and poor service.

We were right about the food. The service? Not that bad.

Booking Reservations at 58 Tour Eiffel

58 Tour Eiffel, 58 Tour Eiffel Menu, 58 Tour Eiffel Review
58 Tour Eiffel Menu Opéra+

58 Tour Eiffel Children's Menu, 58 Tour Eiffel Review, restaurants in the Eiffel Tower
58 Tour Eiffel children's menu 

To make lunch or dinner reservations, I suggest booking online at the official website. If there is availability, you CAN make same-day reservations while you are visiting the Eiffel Tower but it's a gamble. On Monday November 24th, I made three reservations online for 6:30pm on Tuesday the 25th. This cost €96.50 per adult and €25.50 for Jordan. I payed via Paypal. The final price, after the euro to dollar exchange {GULP}: $278.86. Yeah.

You can also pay a little extra for a Trocadero view. We declined. We opted for the city view and liked it better.

Getting Into the Eiffel Tower

This is a tad confusing the first time. You cannot get into the Eiffel Tower until 30 minutes prior to your reservation. You will pick up your lift ticket on the esplanade between the north and east pillars, which opens roughly 30 minutes before your reservation. Once you have done that, you wait in line to access the elevator to take you to the first platform of the Eiffel Tower. You can also have the option to pay extra to access the higher floors. We were fine where we were. We enjoyed touring the entire platform, viewing the exhibits and exploring Paris from above.

Once we were in the restaurant, our table was next to a window overlooking the city. The room was full of, primarily, tourists. We were wedged between a Venezuelan couple and a Russian family. I loved hearing the symphony of different languages.

58 Tour Eiffel Food

58 Tour Eiffel Food, restaurants in the Eiffel Tower
My starter of spiced prawns with avocado, fruit tartar and passion fruit vinaigrette
When I walked into the restaurant, I saw plates of shrimp in 58 Tour Eiffel's open kitchen. I soon found out this was our pre-prepared appetizer. Yep. They pre-cook most of their food to get it out quickly. It tasted like it.

We chose the Menu Opéra+ option which offers a glass of champagne, three courses, plus a bottle of wine.

Jordan and I had the shrimp with avocado, fruit and passion fruit vinaigrette for our appetizer. The shrimp was overcooked, tasting like something from a bad wedding where there's a cash bar. My husband ordered the foie gras with beetroot marmalade and walnut bread. He thought it was okay.

58 Tour Eiffel review, 58 Tour Eiffel food
Cod filet a la plancha, artichokes with a grape mustard buerre blanc sauce

58 Tour Eiffel review, 58 Tour Eiffel food
Roasted guinea fowl, mashed potatoes with herbs

Our entrees were more of the same: bad wedding food. I had the cod fillet, Jim had the ox cheeks while Jordan had the guinea fowl. The presentation was nice but it masked food that was, again, overcooked and terribly average.

Perhaps our favorite course was dessert: Jim and I both had cheese, something impossible to overcook. Jordan had an Eiffel Tower-shaped chocolate cake that tasted Betty Crocker-esque but was adorable. She loved saying she was "eating the Eiffel Tower".

58 Tour Eiffel Service 

This is where I was pleasantly surprised. At the start, it was rushed. As soon as we sat down, a waiter immediately set down glasses of champagne and brought our menus. Some people might like this but we enjoy eating meals at a leisurely pace. A few minutes later, our waiter returned asking for our orders.

Once we ordered our meals a photographer came by wanting to take our photos. I cringed. This screamed Glamour Shots circa 1994. She had Jim kissing my hand (I nearly threw up). She had me resting my face on my hand while looking longingly in his eyes. Seriously. The photographer did this at every table. About 30 minutes later she returned with our hideous photos. Needless to say we didn't buy them.

Beyond that, the service adopted a slower, more sophisticated pace. We were not disturbed until our courses were finished and did not feel like they were hurrying us to get us out of there before the 9pm seating. Our waiter was a delight. He enjoyed telling Jordan about the food she was eating (something she loved hearing!) and even got her to eat not only all the guinea fowl on her plate but to try my fish. This was an accomplishment on every front. At the end of the meal, he brought her a handful of chocolates to take home.

We still have what she calls her "Paris chocolate".

The Takeaway

Would we do this again? No. It's one of those things we can say: "we did it". It didn't suck too terribly and, on some levels, we enjoyed it. The food was not good but this is one of the times when the food wasn't really the point. If you go there expecting to be wowed by exquisite French cuisine, you will be disappointed. That's not what 58 Tour Eiffel is. It is a tourist spot that caters to visitors to the French capital. It's not inexpensive but, then again, most things in Paris aren't.

The fun part for us was experiencing the Eiffel Tower at night. Jordan can now say she eaten inside the Eiffel Tower, something she proclaims whenever she sees the landmark on clothing, artwork or TV. That in itself, was worth the price of admission.

For more information on 58 Tour Eiffel, click here.

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