January 16, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Travel Season: Ralph’s Paris – Ralph Lauren Restaurant

When sightseeing through Paris’ 6ème arrondissement, you know you’ll find the historic Pont Neuf, Café de Flore (where you can often see Karl Lagerfeld having breakfast), the Les Deux Magots cafe, where in not so long gone by days you could run into André Gide, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir… you’ll even look for the first model of the statue by Frédéric Bartholdi, in Jardin du Luxembourg, a (not many know it, French) symbol to have become definitively American – the Statue of Liberty. Yet that at the corner of rue du Dragon and Boulevard Saint-Germain you’ll run into an illustrious American in Paris, you don’t see coming unless you’re there shopping or you’ve been browsing through Paris restaurants reviews: Ralph Lauren!

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Yes, the maker of one of the world’s most successful fashion labels – the Guinness Book of World Records states that in 2010 the American brand reported a 3.2 billion dollars annual revenue – has made it his mission to also get the RL innitials featured in the Michelin Red Guide. But he surely already did it for ranking top among Paris’ tourist attractions!

And it’s not just Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper (and let’s not forget Karl Lagerfeld) going to Ralph’s for, say… a Double RL Grilled Rib Eye Steak (EUR 41). No. The à l’américaine menu whizzed up by Danny Meyer (Best Restaurateur in America, Top 25 Restaurants in America, Restaurateur of the Year, New York Magazine New Yorkers of 1999…) served under the à la française supervising of Olivier Maury quite simply has all of the treats and perks of chic dining. Authentic cuisine, a lovely decor plus the proximity of the Ralph Lauren fashion boutique. But let’s take them all one at a time.

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The ingredients in Ralph’s kitchen are, truly, Made in the USA, some even Made by Ralph Lauren: the lobster comes from Maine, the crab from Maryland, and the beef steaks from Lauren’s own ranch in Colorado. The style in which they are being prepared and served is, also, all American: from among the salads, standing out is the Long Island Watermelon Salad (EUR 22), then come the Atlantic grilled salmon (EUR 36), or the lobster (EUR 64). Still, the star in the Ralph Lauren dishes at Ralph’s are their burgers: the Ralph’s Burger (EUR 29) is garnished with onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar and crispy bacon, the Santa Fe Burger is typpical to the Southern US, but there also are lighter variations on the menu: the turkey, tuna, even a veggie burger (EUR 25). The deserts can equally satisfy the gastronomical American fantasies of any Parisian: brownies, cheesecake, carrot cake, key lime pie… (EUR 14 each).

Ralph’s Paris Ralph Lauren restaurant

Ralph’s Paris Ralph Lauren restaurant

As far as the location goes, it’s as well been carefully chosen: the building of a former hotel built during Louis XIV’s reign, with an interior courtyard and a beautiful facade, is ideal for hosting high quality cuisine or high fashion… Or both!

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The designer also owns a Chicago cafe and The Polo Bar in New York. He clearly is passionate for gastronomy, as well as France. A country that returned his affection and courtesies, Ralph Lauren having been decorated by president Nicolas Sarkozy with The French National Order of the Legion of Honour.

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Just one recommendation! You can drive to the restaurant. Even if we’re talking about narrow streets, it seems that the designer has thought of everything. As such, the Valet Parking service works like a charm. So it wasn’t just me to get pampered, but also my travel companion, Mercedes-Benz GLA from Ţiriac Auto, of which the Ralph Lauren staff took the greatest of cares.

So, if you are in Paris, do visit Ralph’s. And if not, I hope I’ve lured you enough to be able to wish you Bon Voyage!

 

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