four hundred year old gastronomic 'theatre' that is the Tour D'Argent
each recipe is a history, not just an appealing little anecdote
but a bona fide event. It is possessed of the most scenic dining
in Paris; Notre Dame (whose nightly floodlights the restaurant subsidises
so as not to jeopardise the effect) before you, Montmartre in the
near distance and situated amongst Paris' most beautiful landmarks.
At each table has sat a multitude of people so famous - and not
so famous - as fill a directory of the globally prominent. It has
been called variously, un vieux cabaret discret, the grand-pappy
of the grand Parisian restaurants in a city housing over 12,000
dining houses whose gastronomic reputation is the world's finest,
amongst other titles. But perhaps the French newspaper Le Monde
put it best when it proclaimed: "There are the great restaurants
and there is the Tour d'Argent. There are restaurateurs and there
is Claude Terrail."
man knows all the names and they in turn, are well-acquainted with
him. "Each day and night that we are open, I make my rounds
at exactly 9.15 p.m. Only at that time because then, people are
settled at their tables and cannot say, 'I want that table there
or that one near the window." Then I say hello to everyone
in the restaurant at lunch or dinner - I make no distinction unless
of course, you are a beautiful girl, then I will seat her in the
middle of the restaurant so that all the people can look at her..."
The eyes twinkle and the debonair Claude Terrail has added yet another
notch to his belt of notorious repute.
labelled the 'Playboy of the Western world," when not labelling
out pithy ministering with irrepressible joie de vivre and generous
abandon, Claude is a pool-playing ambassador of the 'table and all
its delights'. His character is larger than life, effusive and entirely
charming, endearing him over the 51 years of his proprietorship
to all his famous patrons. Most are close friends and he estimates
that between himself and his two right hand men, they know 25,000
people around the world.