Legendary Paris Restaurant Reopens with Sights Set on Notre Dame Rebirth, 2024 Olympics

Thu Dec 28 2023
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PARIS: The Tour d’Argent, renowned for its 320,000-bottle wine cellar, iconic duck recipe, and a remarkable 441-year legacy, is set to elevate its offerings further.

Adding to its storied history, the legendary restaurant will now present its pièce de résistance: an unparalleled experience offering prime views of two monumental events in 2024 — the resurgence of Notre Dame Cathedral and the grandeur of the 2024 Summer Olympics.

An emblematic fixture of the city, the Tour d’Argent, immortalized in the film “Ratatouille,” recently reopened following a meticulous renovation. This transformation honors its cherished customs while seamlessly embracing the demands of the modern era.

‘’It’s very reassuring for many customers to see that such establishments are still present in our history, and in French gastronomic history,’’ owner and CEO André Terrail told the Associated Press.

The oldest restaurant in Paris proudly showcases its heritage, boasting a 1582 opening date etched onto its doors. Legends echo within its walls: King Henri IV indulged in heron pâté here; ‘’Sun King’’ Louis XIV orchestrated a feast featuring an entire cow; and luminaries like Salvador Dalí, Marilyn Monroe, and various presidents and artists have graced its tables across generations.

Today, this Michelin-starred gem stands as a pinnacle of exclusivity in the heart of the French capital, its allure often beyond the reach of many. With a fixed-price lunch starting at 150 euros ($167) and dinner at 360 euros, not to mention the revered ‘’bible’’ of its wine cellar weighing in at 8 kilos (17 pounds), the experience comes at a premium.

Yet, for those seeking a taste of its rarefied air without committing to a full meal, the reborn Tour d’Argent extends alternative experiences. A ground-floor lounge opens its doors for morning croissants, an adjacent evening bar offers fireside cocktails, and a rooftop bar unveils panoramic views during warmer months, showcasing the restaurant’s breathtaking scenery.

In this picturesque Parisian scene, Notre Dame Cathedral takes prominence amid an unprecedented reconstruction. Craftsmen diligently rebuild its spire and roof, replacing those lost in a harrowing 2019 fire that imperiled the medieval marvel.

Slowly but surely, the scaffolding enveloping the site will vanish by 2024, aligning with its planned Dec. 8 reopening to the public—a testament to the meticulous restoration of this iconic landmark.

“Notre Dame is a landmark and probably had lost a little bit of attention to the Eiffel Tower,” Terrail said. After the fire, Notre Dame enjoyed an injection of funding, notably from the US ’’Lots of love coming from abroad, making sure that the cathedral was renovated,’’ he said.

After an 18-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Terrail finally implemented a makeover for the Tour d’Argent that had been on their mind.

“COVID in a sense accelerated things, and also the Olympic Games, which are kind of an accelerator for everything in Paris,” he says.

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