Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Perfection all the way: Apicius

Finding a good restaurant in Paris is easy. The same goes for an excellent restaurant. However, finding a place where you feel like Alice in Wonderland (if you're a girl, that is...) may require some more efforts. The good news is that there is a simple and guaranteed way to make your most exquisite culinary- and service -related fantasies come true. Simply elect "Apicius" as your dining room.

Nestled in a beautiful garden in the very center of Paris is the splendid mansion housing Apicius. The building is said to be owned by a famous French film producer who also happens to be a good friend of the divine chef Vigato. If it is on a summer evening that you choose to enter the premises, you are likely to be greeted with a multitude of candles spread out on the tables in the garden. It's magic.

The long corridor leading to the dining room is often very hectic. Indeed, it links the kitchen and the diningroom. However, when your welcoming waiter walks you through it, the corridor is yours alone. The unpronounced exclamation "freeze!" - that your presence as a guest automatically leads to - pastes all the staff to the walls and makes them bow while uttering "Madame, bonsoir". If you did not get that Alice in Wondeland feeling when entering the garden, you will definitely be filled with it now.

The dining room with its (at least) 5 meter high walls and well-chosen colours and textiles exudes quiet elegance and luxury. The food is nothing but divine. When I have had the plesure of dining at Apicius, recurrent thoughts of mine have been "Is this really fish? Or is it some kind of magic invention made from scratch in the kitchen?" "How can a soufflé be SO perfect?" "I did not know that endivie could taste heavenly!"

What makes Apicius so special is the harmonious combination of location, cuisine and service. The latter comes level with the food. Being Alice in Wonderland is not a free exercice, but the incomparable experience justifies spending some money. The cost of the adventure is not shocking - at least not for special occasions.

20 rue d'Artois, 75008 Paris Métro Saint-Philippe-du-Roule (line 9)


  1. Raspberry soufflet was unforgettable.
    The mashed potatoes with truffles too.

  2. Maybe this is where our trip should take us? :) Sounds like a destination!

  3. Oh my gosh!!!
    I am sold - this sounds just brilliant.
    However, I have browsed the net for half an hour now, and I cannot find any prices anywhere.
    What price range are we talking about?
    Is it possible to go there for lunch in order to not become completely broke??

    P.S. Your blog is fantastic!!!!

  4. Hi!

    Thanks for the compliment :-)
    Please forgive my unforgiveable late answer. I haven't blogged for months. Hence I will forward blog comments to my email!

    The price range is approximately 150 euros / person. Wine comes on top of that. Unfortunately the restaurant does not offer more affordable "lunch menus" - not that I am aware of at least.

    PS: The best lunch menu deal (Mon-Fri) in town is at the two-stars-in-the-Michelin-guide Relais Louis XIII: 50 euros/person for an appetizer, a starter, a main dish, cheese, dessert and coffee/tea with miniardises. whilst at night the same meal is billed the double. Splendid food in the Latin Quarter! ...maybe I should write a proper post on the restaurant..? :-))