A brasserie, an institution: Le Fouquet's
Who doesn't know or recognize it, whether or not from photos or in real life:.The red awnings of Le Fouquet’s on the Champs-Elysées, which spread over the two terraces on the Champs-Elysées and George V avenues.
Le Fouquet’s offers iconic brasserie-style dining where you can enjoy typically French menus whose recipes have spanned centuries. But its menus have been reinvented over the years.
Its history begins in 1899 with Louis Fouquet who called it after his French last name, "Fouquet", and added the "'s" to give it a trendy style, although he was born and raised in France.
At that period it is the only café authorized on the Champs-Élysées. This is where the coachmen stop, who transport their customers to the races at Longchamp. In the 1920s, it became a luxury brasserie. 1930s: the Parisian bourgeois flock to be seen on the terraces. It is also becoming the meeting place for the world of cinema. A love story never denied.
At the end of the 1970s, Fouquet's welcomed the winners of the César ceremony, then that of the Molières. A tradition still relevant today. 1980s: it is threatened with being razed to make way for a shopping arcade. Famous actors are mobilizing but it is Jack Lang, Minister of Culture at the time who saves him, classifying him in 1990 as a historic monument.
Le Fouquet's, the embodiment of culture, but also of luxury and money. In 1985, a ceremony honoring the billionaires of the planet was organized there. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy celebrated his presidential victory there. It has strong ties with the Cinema, and hosts every year the traditional Gala dinner after the César ceremony.
I came here often when I lived in Paris. For a coffee, a small lunch, a kir au vin blanc or a nice dinner from my chef friends Bruno Gueret and Pierre Gagnaire. The latter celebrates the rebirth of the legendary brewery and brings his creative touch to the menu.
I realize that life moves fast when, decades later, I am eating dinner with my now grown sons Brice and Jules.
But it's not the first time for them, and it certainly won't be the last! From an early age I took these two with me to restaurants or on my culinary travels and they have been lucky enough to have been able to 'work' in many kitchens of great chefs.
It is fantastic to be able to do this with them at an older age and to be able to talk about it together, experience it!
You still get cocooned in that chic and intimate atmosphere. The authentic decor of the dining area lets you guess its strong ties with the world of the Cinema because black and white portraits of famous actors and actresses from all over the world hang throughout the restaurant.
The menu features traditional dishes including the Sole Meuniere alongside Beef Tartare, Ballotine or duck foie gras; green bean salad and a toasted brioche, Artichoke hearts in vinaigrette, shavings of Comté...
We started with a cocktail Royal Fouquet's (Peach cream, lychee, Fouquet's Champagne, lime zest).
An absolutely wonderful cocktail to tantalize your taste buds and set you up for lunch. As a starter we had the Haddock (with smoked salmon, sea bream, cucumber and sourcream) and a Burrata with tomato and basil coulis, rocket salad.
As a main course we had the Sea bass cooked on the plancha, poached in olive oil, leaf stalk carrots and the Fouquet's beef tartare "Coin de rue" fries.
The dessert was magnificent! We kids choose between several types (Cheesecake; Gluten-free chocolate buckwheat tart; Red fruit shortcake tart; Vanilla Millefeuille with fig jam;
raspberry and basil eclair; Redcurrant jelly with blackcurrant coulis and kirsch crème diplomate.).
We went for the Millefeuille and the Cheesecake.
The whole lunch was again a party and invites you to come again (oui, certainement!)
Tip: also try the beautiful inner terrace upstairs where the bar and restaurant Le Joy are located. When the weather is nice you can sit here really peacefully in an oasis of greenery and surrounded by the walls of the hotel. The garden is beautifully maintained and has a modern look. For me it's a moment where you can relax with an incredibly tasty cup of cappucino and rest your head before going back up the busy Champs Elysees.