Just behind our apartment is a gorgeous “hotel particulier” (private mansion) which is home to a two-star restaurant called Apicius. Because it is on our dog-walking route, we have gone by it a hundred times, each time gazing into the gravel driveway and wondering what went on in such a lovely place. Fancy cars regularly squeezed into its narrow drive, and the courtyard glittered with white lights and candles. And I loved the orange lettered sign on the beautiful old stone wall.
On my most recent visit to Paris, we decided to find out what this fancy-shmancy place was all about, and end my week with a blow-out dinner at this restaurant in our own backyard.
I did a little research on the lovely 19th century mansion and discovered that it once belonged to the Compte Artois, who was the brother of Louis XVI, a favorite of Marie-Antoinette, and was eventually King Charles X of France. Good to know I walked my dog by a royal residence on a daily basis. So glad he never popped a squat there. Or worse.
The dining room where we sat was lovely, and even had a painting on the wall that adorns the cover of one of our old family travel journals, making us feel instantly at home.
The food was very fancy, with lots of the foam that seems to be making the rounds at high-end restaurants. Sadly, I have forgotten what we ordered, but you can admire the plates. And the foam.
The dish that will linger longest in our memories was the chocolate soufflé. I am not even a chocolate fan, and I could have licked the dish clean, if Mark had let me. Amazing.
That dinner probably ranks with the most expensive meals we have eaten in Paris, but it was a wonderful experience. And everyone needs a little neighborhood restaurant that they can pop into for a quick bite, right? Or maybe just a chocolate soufflé in the bar (please, please, please)?
I found this short video of the chef, Jean-Pierre Vigato, in the kitchen, and a few shots of the beautiful restaurant. Enjoy!
20, Rue d’Artois