oldest restaurant in Paris : A LA PETITE CHAISE, Founded
in 1680 !
restaurant takes its name from the transformation of an
old French word "cheze" of latin origin, casa
meaning isolated house. The first construction of this building
dates from 1610 and was located on the samall patch called
"the little Louvre" near Grenelle. Between 1652
and 1680 the house has been raised.It is the one which still
exists. Through recorded salesof the building we are certain
that already in 1680 a certain Georges Rameau was selling
wines in this very spot. With the wines, some food was being
served and has been served since.
we can affirm that this is the oldest restaurant in Paris
according to records. The iron gate on the front door dates
from this era. Ours is actually classified as a historical
monument which prohibits us from altering appearance.
reputation of the place spread quickly making it the "rendezvous"
of many great minds. Located in the country, game came frome
the surrounding forest, first was brought in from the Seine
and local fresh farm chickens were appreciated. The most
important Lords of the land were feasting on the local specialties.
Nobles and nobility under the same roof. Philip d'Orleans,
regent to be, brought his confessor, Cardinal Dubois and
organized great parties ... confessions ? IIe was Vincent
Maynon's friend, the owner, King Louis XIV's secretary ,
who married (august 1699) Catherine Hardouin-Mansart, daughter
of Jules Hardoin Mansart, royal architect, in Versailles,
who created the hall of mirrors... On the wall of the cabaret,
was arare sight... a mirror, and the ladies were carried
on their sedan chairs to see themselves, as mirrors were
very rare in those days.
tells us that, in the XIX th century, Vidocq, the famous
policeman, made several important arrests in this place.
The well known gourmet, Brillat Savarin, wrote exquisite
taste of the menus in his book "la physiologie du goût"
(1826). At this same time period, la Petite Chaise was likely
to see Musset, George Sand, Juliette Recamier, Chateaubriand
and others, living nearby.
the beginning of the XX th century, artists and actors gathered
here after show-time. Cabaret stars from Montmartre traveled
to La Petite Chaise to be ssketched by Toulouse Lautrec.
The tenor Alvarez and the baritone Noté loved to
be seen in the upstairs cornerswith the bosomed ladies of
their choice. Sometimes, some very "close" relationships
continued after the dessert. Singers would pour out their
hearts witkh love ballads under the restaurant windows.
Great Collette was once invited by the "Crapouillot's
crew (periodic) for her literary talent only... Politicians,
such as François Mitterand, came from nearby Poly-Sci
and cabinet members from the nearby National Assembly.
the scene is still mixed with artists, politicians, actors,