A Restaurant To Remember
Proust and other famous French citizens dined there, some in the private salons.
My husband and I wandered into Laperouse one fine summer day (back when God was a boy). Our first trip to Paris. We stood outside the restaurant and studied the menu. Wow! Did it look good. I thumbed through my Guide Michelin and discovered three stars! Impressive. So far we hadn't eaten at any stars, although that would change.
So, babes in the cuisine world, in we trod. Very elegant with lots of gold and fancy fabrics. One could see little private dining rooms, but that was of no interest. I think we ate from the carte du jour, but I can't be sure. We had both fish and meat courses, a rarity for Americans. The most embarrassing moment came in the ordering process when the waiter asked which flavor of souffle for dessert. I said "chocolate,"my husband said, "Grand Marnier." The waiter said, "you will be sharing one," or words to that effect. I quickly opted for Grand Marnier. I had never had a souffle in my life. Or meat and fish at one meal. Or surroundings this opulent. We also had both white wine (with the fish) and red wine( with the meat). I recognized the actor Jean Gabin sitting at a nearby table.
This was heaven on earth. Every bite delicious. Oh, my goodness! We thrilled to the formal but polite service. I didn't even know food could taste this good, and I came from a long line of great Kansas cooks.
So, eventually the bill was presented. One hundred francs. My God, that was twenty dollars. Who could even imagine spending twenty dollars for lunch? Remember I said this was back when God was a boy. That long ago.
We staggered (due to the wine and the bill) out into the sunshine. It was a meal to remember. We would go on to eat at many famous restaurants in Europe and the U.S., but this was our first introduction to haute cuisine. It could not have been better.
Of course, I had no idea that the little private rooms were also used for hanky panky.
So nice to hear that Laperouse is opening again. Doubt if we could afford to eat there now, and the food is likely different, so I will just remember this stellar lunch with the service and the wine and the food and my souffle faux pas. Vive la France!
Laperouse Web Site