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The Tour d'Argent Restaurant

There are lots of different types of restaurants in Paris and numerous different venues that you could choose for places to eat out at, and many of the restaurants have so much history and nostalgia.

So we thought that it would be a good idea to focus on one particular restaurant, called the Tour d'Argent, which is actually the oldest restaurant in Paris and is known throughout the world for its traditional French cuisine.

The Tour d'Argent was first opened as an inn back in 1582 with the idea of catering for the aristocrats of the time, and by the early 1600's it had become so popular that duels were even fought just to get a table and savour the delicacies on offer!

Numerous dignitaries and royalty came to eat at the Tour d'Argent including such notable names as King Louis XIV, Philippe d'Orleans and the Duke of Morny, who resided at the mansion which is now home to the haute cuisine restaurant in Paris called the Taillevent.

The Tour d'Argent Restaurant
The Tour d'Argent

But it was in the 19th century that the Tour d'Argent became even more famous when the owner, Frederic Delair created the ritual of the "Canard au Sang", which is a complex dish of duck, known as pressed duck or bloody duck that uses a special solid silver press and it was shortly after devising this now famous recipe, he declared that every duck should bear a number and for instance, number 328 was served to King Edward VII in 1890.

Even after Andre Terrail purchased the Tour d'Argent from Frederic Delair in 1910 the tradition of the numbered duck continued and duck number 40,312 was served to King Alfonso XIII in 1914.  Number 53,211 was served to the Emperor Hiro Hito in 1921, number 112,151 was served to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1929 and duck number 938,451 was served to President Mikhail Gorbachev in 2001.

The Tour d'Argent celebrated its one millionth duck in 2003 and even today this tradition still continues with the third generation of the Terrail family where you are presented with a card showing what number duck you had for your meal and this is just one of the reasons why this restaurant has become such a landmark in Paris and is now famous throughout the world.

When you enter the Tour d'Argent you will immediately see displays in their small museum of items such as a menu from the maiden voyage of the Normandie through to a table set as it was in the 1800's and this is where you would usually be served aperitifs.  However, the dining room of the restaurant itself is actually positioned on the sixth floor, which was added in 1936, and is accessed via a lift. 

And because of its location with the fabulous views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the boats cruising the River Seine from the dining room, which by the way, is even better of an evening looking at the shimmering lights of the city and the Eiffel Tower in the distance, this is another reason why this Paris restaurant is so popular.

Obviously, because of the popularity of this haute cuisine restaurant with celebrities, presidents and royalty, etc reservations are a must and you will need a healthy bank balance in which to thoroughly appreciate the gourmet dining experience along with their fabulous selection of fine wines.

Now that bring us to another point - their incredible wine cellars that hold around 400,000 bottles from fine vintages dating back to the 1800's, rare brandies and even more rare champagnes that date from the 1700's.  The wine list itself is like reading a novel and comes complete with its own stand! although the sommeliers are very knowledgeable and can recommend a wine to pair excellently with your meal selection, yet prices can become quite high, with some vintage wines costing thousands of Euros!!

And if you are lucky enough, you may even be able to get a tour of the wine cellars before leaving, where a member of staff will escort you down underneath the restaurant and ceremoniously rings a copper bell to announce your arrival prior to entry into the cellars.

Well we have kept saying there are numerous reasons to enjoy eating out here and for many, this is a once in a life time experience.

The waiters and other staff are dressed in tails at this very traditional restaurant, where you make sure that you are in best evening dress and even today the menu is presented to the lady without the costs and the gentleman has the pricing listed! 

But booking a table for lunch is a lost more reasonable than going all out on an evening meal, so if you are on a budget, yet still want to splash out, then this is best option for a wonderful gastronomic experience and a terrific view that you will not forget.

The Tour d'Argent In Paris

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