La Tour D’Argent - Open since 1582 this incredible restaurant boasts the finest dining and wine cellar in Paris and arguably the world. I have had the pleasure of dining there on three occasions. The first time was with my friend Ellen. I have to tell a funny story here so if you are not up for it, skip way down to the actual review. Ellen made the reservation under her very American last name. Lesson here – if you have a French surname use it, if you don’t, make one up! We were seated near the kitchen door even though the restaurant was not crowded. We were not ordering because we were trying to not draw attention to ourselves so we could wait for our husbands to arrive. Who wants to order really expensive wine and food without ones’ spouse? Let’s face it, we felt guilty. They were working their butts off and we had been touring and shopping all day – the least we could do was wait for the poor buggers to show up before blowing a mortgage payment on dinner right? The wine steward came over a few times to inquire about the empty two seats. In my poor French and only slightly better English I explained to him that we were waiting for our husbands who were still working. Every few minutes he would come check on us and then finally laughed and told us that he did not believe our husbands were working – he said they were, of course, at the Moulin Rouge so we should just order. We laughed along with him and he then proceeded to move us to a window table overlooking Notre Dame and the Seine and brought us a very nice and reasonable priced bottle of champagne. Before choosing the champagne he asked us, “How mad are you that they did not show up so I know how expensive a wine to choose?” He had a wonderful sense of humor which we appreciated immensely! We had a fantastic dinner sans our husbands who eventually texted that they were not going to show up at all! The wait staff were warm, friendly and helpful beyond our expectations. We laughed for days remembering our time there so thanks to Ellen for making the reservations and sharing one of my fondest memories of the finest restaurant I have ever been to!
The second time I ate there was with my husband – we had a beautiful table at a different angle of Notre Dame from the year before. He ordered the famous duck. When you order duck there it is an unforgettable experience. They show you the duck for your approval, cook it in the dining room and when you are finished you receive a post card that tells you what number duck you were served. There’s just something cool about knowing you have been served the 1,063,928th of anything never mind the best duck in the world! See photo below for my “proof of purchase” postcard.
The third time was very special as well – my friend Elizabeth has a December birthday and her dad graciously offered a couple years ago that her present be dinner at La Tour D’Argent with our group. When Elizabeth first told me he gave her the option I kept asking her, “Are you sure he said La Tour D’Argent?” I asked her to confirm with him like five times before I booked the reservation. We went early and had a drink downstairs at the interesting bar with the adorable waiter who helped us with our champagne selection. Then we went upstairs and were given a wonderful table by the window up on the rise where we could witness our ducks being cooked. A great time was had by all and we are forever grateful to Mr. Graham! He’s a man who enjoys life and likes when others do too!
Actual review – Simply the best cuisine, beverages, atmosphere and service of anywhere in any country. The most expensive of any place I have been to, so by all rights, I should have only eaten there once in a lifetime. The price tag is not for the faint of heart and ideally one should only go there if a client or generous family member is paying. We have not been that lucky. Matt and I paid our own way twice and Mr. Graham took one for the team the other time. I can die happy knowing that I have eaten my last duck at La Tour D’Argent. I will NEVER order duck anywhere else in my life! If they like my blog perhaps they will invite me to dine there! One can dream!!!