Tucked on a small street behind the Place des Victories, Lémoni Café (lémoni is Greek for lemon) serves inventive and delicious mostly vegetarian food. The cooking style is called Cretois and the premise is simple: fresh and dry vegetables cooked without butter or cream. Although the idea has been around for a while, it is fairly new to Paris restaurants. I went for lunch the other day and the cozy cafeteria-style restaurant was full of casually well-dressed art and fashion people who I assumed were after the same thing I was.
There are 3 menus/formules: takeout, basic and the lémoni. I chose the Lémoni for 12.15 euros that included a choice of 1 main dish, two sides, a drink, and dessert. I had a gratin of sweet potatoes and carrots, pureed been soup, and Indian style cold lentils and rice. The gratin was filling but not rich, the lentils cool and tangy, and the soup was flavorful but a little too watery. Dessert was a muffin/cake hybrid that tasted like a rich pound cake, but to my delight, didn’t contain any butter.
I met the owner Laurent Houssaye, who was warm and friendly. His food philosophy or the Lemoni attitude, proposes Mediterranean healthy food inspired by the beneficial effects of the Cretan diet.
I left Café Lémoni happy with the fact that I didn’t have to break the 6-figure calorie barrier or the bank to have a satisfying meal in Paris. My arteries thanked me.
5 rue Herold, 75001
01 45 08 49 84
Open Monday- Friday, lunch only
Metro: Palais Royal, Les Halles, Bourse