Classic Paris Restaurants: L’Escargot Montorgeuil
When it first opened in 1832, porters from Les Halles market would come here to feast on snails. The market’s closure changed the profile of Rue Montorgueil and it was converted into a pedestrian road lined with elegant food stores. The restaurant still stands, however, with a huge golden snail above its sign. Listed as a Historic Monument, the restaurant suffered a bit of damage over the years but was lovingly restored to its full splendor when the Laportes took over the restaurant in 2013.
The small entrance with black and white checkerboard tiles is nestled behind the terrace. The ceiling has quirky cooking cherubs which originated from famous actress Sarah Bernhardt’s apartment. They were purchased at auction in 1919. Behind a heavy red curtain are two elegant rooms, with velvet banquettes, mirrors, gilding, Belle Epoque lights, and glass partitions engraved with fruits and flowers. Conversation hums and cutlery discreetly clinks in this sumptuous decor. The upper floor, accessed by a remarkable spiral staircase, leads to a room with a portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, one of the muses of Art Nouveau fashion and decorative arts. Loyal to tradition, L’Escargot Montorgueil continues to serve snails in all guises – with parsley, truffle butter, or foie gras. But the restaurant also serves other classic French dishes such as frog’s legs or steak frites with bearnaise sauce.
28 Rue Montorgueil, 1er Arrondissement
Metro: Sentier (Line 3), Les Halles (Line 4) Chatelet-Les Halles (RER A, B, D)
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