This Parisian restaurant was the canteen of Gustave Eiffel and Auguste Bartholdi

undefined 28 March 2024 undefined 12h05

The Editor

There are some addresses with such incredible history, such captivating soul, that one would almost find it hard to believe they really exist. In the heart of the Plaine Monceau district, in the 17th arrondissement, A l'Improviste is one of those. Behind this restaurant with an old façade, we find Mario and Nadine, a couple of septuagenarians originally from Lorraine - both from families of restaurateurs - accompanied by their son Julien. ## An extraordinary story It all began in 1881. Just built, number 21 Médéric street already housed a neighborhood bistro, offering only one daily dish. If, today, the building right across the restaurant houses the Paris hotel school, at the time, it was the location of the Monduit-Gaget-Gauthier workshops, in other words, the first construction site of the Statue of Liberty before it was dismantled and sent to the United States. Just that. It wasn't just any ordinary place. It is not uncommon for Mr. Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the said tower, and Mr. Gustave Eiffel, his engineer, to have lunch in this restaurant, which has now become a meeting place for regulars in the neighborhood. The photos on the wall bear witness to this.Hello there! Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you're having a fantastic day filled with lots of joy and laughter. Remember to smile and spread positivity wherever you go. Life is beautiful, so let's make the most of it. Wishing you a wonderful day ahead! Take care and keep shining brightly! 😊🌟🌺 . .Welcome to our website!

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© Yona Romet In the years that followed, the restaurant continued as La cantine de Gustave Eiffel until falling into the hands of Mario and Nadine in 2015. At the time, the couple from Lorraine had just retired and were looking for a place to "pass the time," explains the chef: "I have always cooked for over 50 years and doing nothing is not really my style. I fell in love with the establishment and thought 'let's continue to preserve our beautiful cuisine.'"

An authentic and passionate cuisine

And that's an understatement. On the menu: traditional French cuisine, old-fashioned. The owners, as the son tells us, are very welcoming and generous. The signature dishes of the house? Must-try dishes include veal liver with sweet and sour sauce, country terrine, Lyonnaise lentil salad, leeks in vinaigrette and egg mayonnaise, as well as the catch of the day... In short, classic dishes that we love, all cooked with a lot of love and passion: "I don't have a freezer, that's my way of doing."things, I don't want to take the easy way out. Here, we only have fresh, homemade and purely traditional ingredients," Mario tells us. And the dessert menu is just as impressive: nostalgic pear clafoutis, rum baba, crème brûlée... It's a full circle.
© Yona Romet

When it comes to the atmosphere, Nadine asserts: "everything here is from another era, we haven't changed anything." As a result, our eyes wander between the old trinkets placed on shelves here and there, vintage advertising posters, and antique carafes and coffee pots. "This is a place that has remained very natural, very authentic. There is a real soul that emanates from here," the manager admires. We couldn't agree more.

© Yona Romet

21, rue Médéric - 17th arrondissement
Phone: 01 42 27 86 67
Open Monday to Friday from 12pm to 2:30pm and from 7pm to 10:30pm