Favorite Places: Restaurant Apicius in Paris
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Happy Saturday! This is the first installment in a new series, “Favorite Places,” which each weekend will feature a beloved travel destination, attraction, restaurant, hotel, etc. of a different member of the TPG team. I’m kicking things off with a great memory from my recent trip to Paris, when I dined at one of the city’s most divine eateries—Restaurant Apicius.
A one-star Michelin restaurant set in a breathtaking 19th-century villa in the Champs Élysées, Restaurant Apicius is set back from the street and surrounded by park-like grounds. Though this mansion was originally the home of a key Parisian politician, wandering in here actually feels like you’re leaving Paris behind for an evening.
Arriving at night, the whole scene was gorgeous and romantic, but I couldn’t help wishing I’d gotten there just a little earlier to enjoy a drink at sunset in the seating out front on the patio, overlooking the lawn.
The restaurant’s owner is revered Chef Jean Pierre Vigato, whose traditional, bourgeois French cooking has been lauded throughout France since the 1970s; Vigato also co-owns A & M Restaurant in the 16th arrondissement, but Apicius has been his since 2004, named for the only remaining book of cookery from the ancient Roman Empire.
The wait staff here made everything seem effortless and simple, and their attention to detail was impeccable. That said, what I really loved was the food—the foie gras and meat pie (pictured above) and a perfectly salted pork loin (below) were both off the chain. Foie gras and Bretagne lobster for two are specialties here, but from what I saw of the artistry at my fellow diners’ tables, you can’t go wrong.
Every ingredient—from potatoes to oysters—is sourced from the French town or area for which it’s known. A glass of crisp Champagne makes the perfect intro to this rich, country-style yet elegant food, the French wine list here is staggering, and someday (a long time in the future, hopefully), I’ll be requesting the rich chocolate soufflé as part of my last meal.
Apicius is far from cheap, and could easily set you back €150 (about $150) per person, before wine. If you time your meal to the first Friday of the month and use your Chase Sapphire Preferred—like I did—you’ll get 3x per $1 you spend on an epic dinner.
This was one of my favorite dining experiences ever—and were you so inclined, know that the fairy-lit grounds of the restaurant would be the perfect place propose in Paris!
20 Rue d’Artois, 75008 (8th arrondissement)
01 43 80 19 66