When it comes to Parisian bistros, there aren’t many as iconic as Le Dôme. You may have heard about it without even knowing; it features in the work of everyone from Ernest Hemingway, Edith Piaf, Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller.
But what is it like today, 100 years after old Hemingway visited?
During our explorations of the 14th arrondissement, we reserved a table at this Parisian institution to see what all the fuss was about.
Here’s what happened.
Our visit to Le Dôme restaurant
The first thing that hits you is the exterior, a stunning Haussmannian building, with the bottom floor seemingly all made of glass. In cursive script, the words Le Dôme beckoned us in. The menus posted at the front promise all varieties of seafood, with meal options named after famous clients from the past.
Lina went in before me as I scoped out the exterior, and she was greeted warmly by a waiter who said he had spent decades working in all the iconic joints of Montparnasse.
“Come with me, mademoiselle,” he said, taking her by the arm and leading her to our table.
I arrived soon after and was struck by the interior. Wood panels, low lights, and a flurry of activity from the suited waiters.
Octagonal plates were on the table. I asked if I could buy one, they chuckled and said no.
What did we eat?
As for the food, we ordered the Menu Ernest, which came with two choices for the entrée, main course, and dessert. We said we’d have it all, at 45 euros each.
For the foodies out there, this is what was on the Menu Ernest, though I see this has changed since we visited.
Entrée: Rockfish soup or Green asparagus with mousseline sauce.
Main course: Thinly sliced monkfish with tandoori and mushroom cream spinach or A devilled fillet of brill with green beans and sesame.
Dessert: Exotic fruit dessert with coconut ice cream or Ice-cream from Berthillon.
Le Dôme’s interior
Between courses, we took the chance to explore the restaurant a little. On wall plaques were the names of famous ghosts of the past. We sat by one dedicated to the sculptor Antoine Giacometti, whose work we’d seen only hours earlier around the corner.
Knowing this restaurant would be a photographable feast, we brought along a photographer, Jeremy Pritchard, who snuck off to capture the rest of the restaurant too.
The Earful Tower podcast episode
During the podcast about this district, Lina and I recorded for a few minutes inside the restaurant, we start talking about it from about 23:30. You can hear it below, as well as the rest of our findings from the 14th arrondissement.
Video guide to the 14th arrondissement
Here is our 14th visit in video format, from our YouTube channel, you can see inside the Dome here too, so you can feel like you’re really there too! We’ll be making one of these every week, so be sure to subscribe (you can do it in one click via this link).
Practical information about Le Dôme
Opening hours: Every day 12am – 2:45pm / 7pm – 10:30pm
Address: 108 Bd du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris
You’ll need a reservation and can book here or give them a call: +33 1 43 35 25 81
How to get to Le Dôme
Make it an easy night out and take a cab!
Metro: Line 4: Vavin, Line 6: Raspail
And you can learn more about Le Dôme here on their website.
And that’s it! A big thank to Jeremy Pritchard for the photos, and as always to the Patreon members who make all this possible. Join them here for exclusive extras (and that guide to Paris below comes free on signup).
This blog post wraps up our visit to the 14th arrondissement. Read all our tips for the district’s best restaurants, cafes, and attractions here. Otherwise see you next week for our trip to the 13th arrondissement.
Oh yes, and you can also support our work by buying one of our children’s books, or my guide, below. Merci!
Roger the Liger in Paris25.00€
Kylie the Crocodile25.00€
The Earful Tower 2023 Guide to Paris [PDF]19.99€
4 thoughts on “What it’s really like to dine at the iconic Paris restaurant: Le Dôme”
You mentioned the food, but didn’t comment on how it was?! It may be a beautiful place, but if the food is terrible, it’s not worth the time or money.
My wife and I dined at Le Dome on Friday night, 8 April 2022. We arrived at the entrance in the rain, at about 7:30 PM, and asked the maitre d’ if he had a table available. He asked if we had reservations. I said that we did not, that we knew it was a Friday night, during Lent, and that we had no reservations, but we had just arrived in Paris that afternoon, we were staying around the corner on Rue Delambre, and we have been wanting to dine at Le Dome for years. He took us to a fine table with a wonderful view of the entire restaurant and we were treated like visiting royalty all evening!
We started with the “Discovery Platter,” a selection of four types of oysters, (two of each type). So amazingly fresh it was as if they had been plucked from the ocean mere moments before being served. For mains we both chose the sea bass with wild mushrooms, root vegetables and potatoes with a lemony butter sauce. It’s now two weeks later, and I’m still dreaming of that dish!
For dessert, we chose a slice of their beautiful Napoleon pastry … the one we had to walk past to get to our table. It was a large portion, it was delicious, like an angel’s kiss! We finished with a coffee, and then headed back out into the rain to return to our hotel.
Yes, it was a bit pricey. Yes, it was worth every penny!
One dining experience checked off my bucket list, but now I have to go back!
PS … I love the 14th, there are many wonderful hotels, especially on Rue Delambre, that are not expensive, and are incredibly convenient. There are the Metro stops at Vavin and Edgar Quinet. There are the morning markets at the Metro entrance at Quinet, for food, for art, for clothing. It’s not touristy at all, and the shoppers are local. There are a multitude of restaurants and parks. The church, Notre Dame des Champs, is beautiful and welcoming. We even like the little hardware store on Montparnasse.
Personally, I hate big cities, but if I had to live in one, Paris would be my choice. If I “had” to live in Paris, the 14th would be where I would choose to live.
We went here last night based on your recommendation and I am so glad we did!!!! Fantastic food, people, ambiance!! Perfect for my first night in Paris after a 3 year hiatus! Also I always stay in the 14th!! Fantastic home base for enjoying Paris ❤️
Fun to read! I have lived in the 14th for 33 years filled with wonderful Fun experiences. Your article is a JOY to read@!