Le Procope

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Le Procope, the oldest running restaurant in Paris and in the world, is obviously going to be a huge draw for tourists. Yet, somehow, I get the impression we are surrounded by native Parisians at this establishment.

It feels sincere. It oozes history from the grand rooms to the little nooks with bookshelves lining the tops of doorways. From the grand windows and staircases to the red walls and gilt and chandeliers. From the oil painting portraits to the lovely and accommodating staff. Le Procope started off as the first literary coffee shop; over the years, streams of legendary thinkers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Molière, Diderot, Balzac and Hugo would gather to philosophize. It remains an atmosphere which holds the ability to elevate and inspire thought.

And the food! Again and again we will return to this restaurant which has never let us down. I would go for the oysters and Sauvignon Blanc alone.  Coq au vin, duck with honey sauce, French onion soup, calamari, sea bass with pineapple, fois gras, beef bourgignon, trout almandine, crème brulée, crêpe Suzette... all dishes quintessentially French. It's a place to go with people and linger over a proper dinner, and to clean one's plate before strolling under the moonlight to the Odéon metro.

French onion soup
trout almandine
crêpe Suzette
crème brulée
Bonsoir, Paris


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