Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

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Le Jules Verne is a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

Unknown structure in a quiet town somewhere

Quick, what’s the most iconic symbol of Paris, France? The Eiffel Tower, of course. Even the most intrepid travelers who seek unique and offbeat activities while exploring Paris, can’t help but stop in their tracks and appreciate the Eiffel Tower. No vacation in Paris is complete without at least a cursory stop at the Eiffel Tower, and for most tourists, walking to the top observation deck of the Eiffel Tower is as important a Paris activity as is exploring the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. But here’s something that is truly special: a meal at the Jules Verne restaurant, i.e. Le Jules Verne, which sits a flight above the highest observation deck the stair-climbing tourists can go. It’s a luxury restaurant with seasonal menus created by world-famous chef Alain Ducasse and the quiet attentiveness that marks top restaurant service throughout Paris.  The food’s a knockout, and then, well…and then there’s the view. Dining at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower is part of a complete luxury travel experience in Paris, France.

Jules Verne Restaurant Entrance at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

They let us in with jeans and sneakers, which were the nicest clothes we had packed

Going up the private elevator to Le Jules Verne restaurant in Eiffel Tower Paris France (Jennifer Miner)

Going up, in the private elevator. Kids and adults alike go “whee!”

A private elevator takes guests right up to Le Jules Verne, and the windows on the elevator provide an eye-popping view. Skipping the two-hour wait to climb up the Eiffel Tower removed the theme-park-like element of the destination, and instantly lands guests in the realm of elegance and glamour. The elevator attendant is used to the gasp of tourists, apparently; ours laughed happily at my children’s obvious delight. TIP: There’s a strictly enforced dress code at this restaurant. No shorts, even in the heat of summer. Jeans and sneakers are okay, though many arrive wearing much more formal attire.

View of the second (top, currently) floor viewing platform in the Eiffel Tower (Jennifer Miner)

View of Eiffel Tower observation deck from our table at Le Jules Verne restaurant

Original stairwell to 3rd level of Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

Warning: The original stairwell to the now-closed third level of the Eiffel Tower may lead to philosophical musing

Le Jules Verne is one of the most exclusive restaurants in Paris (a city that has more than a fair share of exclusive world-class restaurants to begin with). If lunch or dinner at Le Jules Verne is a Paris vacation goal, please make a reservation as soon as you book your air fare and hotel room. Yes, even as much as three months ahead of time. TIP: While no one needs to plan their Paris travel dates AROUND their reservation, a la the French Laundry in Napa Valley, you certainly ought plan that particular day around the lunch or dinner reservation at Le Jules Verne.

Meal at Le Jules Verne in Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

So this was delicious

Le Jules Verne Michelin Star Restaurant in Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

And this was pretty great too

With only one lunch seating and one or two dinner seatings daily, the restaurant is always completely booked throughout the year. Reserving, and securing, a table by a window is much more likely the earlier you make your reservation. The curving layout means that there are a lot of tables with A+ views, and the tables set in the interior are still not too far from the windows, hence, bathed in light. The views of Paris are still easily seen from those tables.

Eating at Le Jules Verne Restaurant in Paris France (Jennifer Miner)

As prettily presented as it was tasty

Le Jules Verne Restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Jennifer Miner)

I’d say this was the piece de resistance, but all courses were amazing

We had a lunch reservation, but from what I understand the views at dinner are spectacular. Watching the sun set and the glittering lights take over Paris is surely a sight to behold.

Evening at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, Paris (lejulesverne-paris.com)

Evening at Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower

Evening reservations are harder to get than lunchtime ones, I’d say, but after lunch at this restaurant, dinner is going to be a very small affair that night anyway. Unless you order a la carte, both lunch and dinner here are such extensive multi-course meals that it’s impossible to finish dessert. Prepare to pace yourself. (We didn’t, and were so uncomfortably full that the delicious desserts’ charms were wasted on us.)

A Dessert Course at Le Jules Verne Michelin Restaurant in Paris, France (Jennifer Miner)

This one I managed to eat as well, but not the mango tart

Think of eating here as more than just having a meal. It’s a complete Parisian experience, with some of the best Michelin-starred  French food you’ll eat on your trip, but also that incredible 360-degree view of Paris. Imagine spending a few hours being comfortably perched above the higher observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, luxuriating though multiple courses and wine that perfectly suits each plate at your table: That’s Le Jules Verne experience. Typical tourists and offbeat world travelers alike can respect that dining at Le Jules Verne is a unique way to see the Eiffel Tower.  Does it cost a pretty penny? Oh mais oui. It’s very expensive even for a luxury vacation. But some things are worth saving up for. Lunch or dinner at this top Paris restaurant is, as part of a memory-creating luxury vacation in Paris, worth all those pretty pennies.

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