Les Halles St Honoré Düsseldorf opens with an enticing deli counter tempting diners to venture further to expectant bistro tables set in a warm, embracing atmosphere. We were brightly greeted at the entrance by a charming French waitress. Attentive serveurs, sommeliers and chefs, each one enticed us to join their intoxicating ménage à trois – an affair with food, wine and great company.
A few weeks into my month-long stay in Düsseldorf and near the end of my husband’s months-long engagement with a client, it was my birthday. Knowing my affaire de coeur with all things French, my thoughtful amour had booked Les Halles St. Honoré Düsseldorf, conveniently located just around the corner from our apartment. In order to stick to a reasonable budget, we’d eaten out in the evening only a couple of times, so I anticipated a cosy evening à deux.
L’ambiance aux Halles St Honoré à Düsseldorf
The clientele was different from that offered in the bustling larger towns of the languid south of France, the rural, roadside pubs of the Loire valley or the coastal cafes of touristy Royan. This was a city crowd, urban, casually well dressed, epicures – each one a bon vivant.
We perused the menu at length, discussed each others’ choices, took some earnest advice on du vin, then enjoyed each course at leisure.
The uniformed and lithe waiters and waitresses were warm and welcoming, patient and kind as we took our time, and explained menu choices with unexpected patience. True to their country’s renown for lingering over food and wine with a hefty and exclusive provenance, we were furnished relaxing time between courses to order more drinks and finally, desserts.
L’amour de la Famille
I have enjoyed the privilege of exploring many different places and cultures, as well as larger-than-life architecture, food, music, nature, and scenery – mostly across Europe. Yet, despite my enduring love affair with travelling, I am a home-bird at heart – because everyone I love is here. Staying away in North Rhine-Westphalia – though I’d fallen in love with Germany’s lumbering wooden doorways, its grand architecture, towering townhouses, river barges, and glamorous shopping districts – I really missed my family. Yet in between text message updates, they’d been harbouring a cunning family plan…
As we walked to the restaurant that evening, several members of my family had just landed from the airport and were covertly following us to the restaurant. I spotted a few amused locals out for an evening saunter watch our strasse-side family reunion unfold with joyful tears and laughter (the de rigueur sign of enduring familial love among my female kin). It took some effort, commitment and time – not to mention subterfuge – to pull off this feat of love. It was an especially poignant moment for me, for reasons that are best kept private. The moments that endure in your heart involve neither money nor gift bags nor showiness.
Comment Était La Nourriture?
Outside the cities in France, all French food seems to come directly from the farmhouse or mountain gîte: unprocessed, filling, and healthful. This restaurant was no exception.
Our food was presented simply but with vibrant colours on heavy plates. Ingredients were fresh and prepared on demand.
We had several starters, meals and desserts:
- French onion soup – always a crowd-pleaser, webbed with some species of melted cheese and accompanied by giant croutons sodden with oily garlic
- Chicken thigs and fresh root vegetables
- Country chicken wrapped in a pastry case with a side of gooey cheese and cress
- Fresh and crunchy salad
When surrounded by those you love, your heart bursts with happiness. Les Halles St. Honoré in Düsseldorf was the perfect backdrop with Michelin-star quality food, wine, and professional service – but delivered in a relaxed manner.
The restaurant also has a gorgeous deli counter. If we’ve ever back in the city, we’ll certainly be back on a Saturday morning to fill up with treats.
Qu’y a-t-il D’autre à faire à Düsseldorf?
Check out my other blog posts about what else to do when visiting Düsseldorf. Expect posts on rivers, towers and fountains; heavy German doors, street sculptures and funny advertising; churches and jewels; German apartments and remote working; shopping, medical and pharmacy adventures; Gothic and Geery architecture; weekends in the aldstadt; German tubes, trams, and trains; and the self-conscious art galleries of nearby Cologne.