Le Café Marly
The waiters must surely be models, moonlighting in sharp dark suits, while the stunning waitresses, more confusingly, are not uniformed, highlighting their attempt to counter tradition (rather like Pei’s Pyramid in front of the Louvre, which this café overlooks). The restaurant’s perceived coolness is reflected in its hip chill-out music and menu: tomato with mozzarella becomes ‘tomate mozza’. The menu uses lots of quotation marks to impress on us that the food is above the ordinary – which it’s not (try the ‘extra’ tarama or purée ‘tradition’). However, it does cater for all tastes (perhaps because it has to be prepared for the thousands of visitors to the Louvre, as well as Parisians), and for all times of day (breakfast through to dinner). The food is overpriced and somewhat hit-and-miss, but one pays for the view of the Louvre and the Da Vinci coders. It’s best not to go inside but to stay out on the terrace (glassed in and heated in winter).