Looking for somewhere toddler-friendly and value for money just off the Champs Elysees and moments from the Arc de Triumph might sound a bit tricky, but Le Paradis du Fruit on Avenue Wagram is just a few minutes walk from this busy tourist area. The whole restaurant was light and airy, and they easily found space for 5 adults and one small child. There were plenty of tables on a Saturday lunch-time, although they had filled up by 2pm when we were ready to leave. According to their advertising, the concept behind Le Paradis Du Fruit is to offer healthy food based around fruit. They describe themselves as combining a restaurant, fruit room and ice-cream parlour, and there are branches all across the greater Parisien region with more planned to follow.
Menus were provided in both English and French, and there were plenty of choices for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Soups and starters are priced from around €6.50, and main course range from €10 to €17. Dishes include chicken or salmon skewers served with rice, salad or potato wedges. They also serve pasta but their main choices are pitta-bread or toast combinations with various salads. I went for the ‘Vegetarian Tartin’ option for €12.80, combining chilled courgette, coconut and lemon soup with goats cheese and pesto on toast plus spiced tofu and salad. There were several choices of hot or chilled soup, plus a non-veggie version of this dish.
The food arrived quickly and the waiting staff were friendly. The soup and spiced tofu were especially delicious, and although the basis of the salad was fairly plain types of lettuce it did contain some interesting additions. My fellow-diners were equally happy with their choices, and especially praised the salmon and cream-cheese pitta squares, again served with salad. We selected a perfectly drinkable house white from the menu at €10.50 per bottle, the most expensive item being a €48 bottle of champagne. Le Paradis Du Fruit also serves beers, cocktails (starting from €8.50), fruit-based juices and smoothies (€4.30).
Desserts are based around fruit, cream or ice-cream with some interesting flavour combinations. I picked the ‘gourmet coffee’, a concept of offering a fixed selection of coffee plus mini-desserts which has become especially popular during recent months in France. At Le Paradis Du Fruit, this consists of an expresso flanked by 2 set desserts served in shots glasses. The combination of chocolate ice-cream with whipped cream worked well, as did the strawberries again served with cream. These were both available as larger full-sized portions with prices starting from €4.80, but we noticed that not just on our table most people who ordered these ended up leaving a considerable amount of the cream. Scoops of ice-cream were available from €2.80 for two and appeared a better value option.
The total bill including wine came to €25 each including a small tip when split equally allowing for the fact we all drank either smoothies and wine. We left satisfied and pleased to have found such good value for money only a few minutes from the main tourist drag.
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