Résumé

Maxim's restaurant, located at 3, rue Royale in Paris's Madeleine district, has been an emblem of elegance and luxury since its establishment on April 7, 1893. Initially, it began as an ice-cream parlor called Maxim's and Georg's, replacing the Imoda ice-cream parlor. The venture gained momentum when Maxime Gaillard, along with three accomplices and his friend Georges Everaert, opened the establishment, attracting a sophisticated clientele from Paris's Belle Époque.

Under the ownership of Eugène Cornuché, who took over in 1900, Maxim's underwent a transformation, adopting the Art Nouveau style. It became renowned for its lavish decor, including marouflaged wall frescoes and bronze ornaments, attracting artists, celebrities, and elite patrons. Octave Vaudable's acquisition in 1932 further elevated Maxim's status, with strict selection of clientele and impeccable service standards.

During World War II, Maxim's was requisitioned and patronized by German officers. However, after the war, it regained its allure, frequented by movie stars and socialites. Under Louis Vaudable's management from the 1950s to the 1970s, Maxim's became synonymous with haute cuisine and luxury.

In 1981, Pierre Cardin acquired Maxim's, expanding its international presence and transforming it into a cultural icon. The upper floors were converted into a museum dedicated to Art Nouveau, featuring renowned artists' works. However, despite Cardin's efforts to modernize, the restaurant's culinary standards declined.

In 2023, management of Maxim's was handed over to the Paris Society, aiming to restore its grandeur and culinary excellence. With revised opening hours and a refreshed menu, Maxim's seeks to reclaim its position as a bastion of Parisian elegance and gastronomy.

Beyond its culinary offerings, Maxim's has inspired numerous theatrical and cinematic works, showcasing its cultural significance. From operettas to films, Maxim's has remained a symbol of timeless sophistication and allure, attracting patrons from around the world.

Localisation
Open hours

RESTAURANT
Monday to Sunday: 12h - 14h30 (15h at weekends) and 19h - 23h (23h30 from Thursday to Saturday)

BAR
Tuesday - Saturday: 7pm - 2am

Access

Maxim's restaurant
3 rue Royale
75008 Paris

  • Metro: lines 1, 8, 12 - Station Concorde - lines 14, 8, 12 - Station Madeleine
  • Bus: lines 24, 42, 84, 94 Stop Concorde - lines 52, 73, 72, Balabus - Stop Concorde / Place de la Concorde
  • Parking lots: Place de la Concorde and Place de la Madeleine

transport_B

Address

Maxim's restaurant
3 rue Royale
75008 Paris

Tel: 01.85.90.62.22

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 52′ 03″ N 2° 19′ 21″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.86731 2.32223
Reservation

Booking: https://restaurant-maxims.com/#reservation

Tel: 01 42 65 27 94
contact@restaurant-maxims.com
privatisation@restaurant-maxims.com
By reservation only

 

 

Description complète

Maxim's restaurant: "Ever since Paris has been fashion, ever since Paris has been the world, I've been described as a fatal address, a mythical house, a legend among legends, the light of the big city". This is the restaurant located at 3, rue Royale in the Madeleine district of Paris, a few meters from the Place de la Concorde. Founded on April 7, 1893, it is one of the French capital's most famous establishments.

Maxim's restaurant starting point

It all began on July 14, 1890, when Paris danced to the glory of the 3rd Republic. Perhaps over-zealous, the Imoda ice-cream parlour at 3 rue Royale decided to decorate its window with flags. Discovering the Prussian flag among them, the crowd, still drunk from the 1870 defeat at Sedan, ransacked the establishment... Gone was Imoda and his famous "glace au jus de viande".

The bistro for carriage drivers that replaced it would have been of little interest if it hadn't attracted the attention of the astute Maxime Gaillard. He works at Reynolds, an American bar in the neighborhood. With the help of three accomplices (a butcher, a wine merchant and an agent for a Champagne brand) and his friend Georges Everaert, on April 7, 1893 he opened an ice-cream parlour called Maxim's and Georg's.

For its inauguration, on Prix de Diane day, May 21, 1893, the little bistro attracted Arnold de Contades, one of the representatives of the gilded youth of the day, and actress Irma de Montigny, intrigued by the English-style sign. In their wake followed a worldly and elegant clientele. It became a popular meeting place for the Paris of the Belle Époque.

Decoration: the Art Nouveau signature and the Ecole de Nancy

In 1900, the restaurant's maître d'hôtel, Eugène Cornuché, bought it from Maxime Gaillard, indebted to his socialite clientele who often forgot to pay their bills.
He called on fashionable artists from the Nancy School and Louis Marnez to refurbish the establishment (including the famous glass roof) in the Art Nouveau style. This was to coincide with the Paris World's Fair: marouflaged wall frescoes by Léon Sonnier, mahogany wood, bevelled mirrors, bronze and copper foliage and ornaments, and so on.

The maître d'hôtel also installed a piano. He solicited courtesans, for whom "love rooms" were created on the upper floor and dishes dedicated (Cocottes apples, Lorette, Belle Otéro lamb saddle), which attracted the entire elite of French gallantry, crowned heads and great fortunes. The clientele of artists and celebrities such as the Belle Otéro, Édouard VII, Marcel Proust, Georges Feydeau, Mistinguett, Jean Bugatti, Armand and Sosthène de La Rochefoucauld, Sacha Guitry, Tristan Bernard and Jean Cocteau, all contributed to Maxim's reputation. Jean Cocteau liked to repeat, "Paris will only be ruined the day 'Maxim's' disappears".

Maxim's restaurant takes off again with Octove Vaudable

In 1932, Octave Vaudable, who had spent most of his career at Larue, bought the restaurant. He and Cocteau were friends. With the help of Albert Blazer (known as the prince of maîtres d'hôtel), whom he hired in 1934, he selected his customers, imposed the wearing of the habit and favored regulars, preferably famous or wealthy. Between 1933 and 1934, Ben Horris hosted this famous restaurant with his orchestra. During the German Occupation, it was requisitioned and run by Berlin restaurateur Otto Horcher, and became the restaurant of choice for German officers. Field Marshal Göring dined here on June 28, 1940.

Maxim's after the war

After the Liberation, the great movie stars of the day were sure to show up. Aristotle Onassis and Callas were joined by Marlene Dietrich and actrice Martine Carol.
In the late 1950s, workmen replacing the famous red benches discovered gold louis, rings, diamonds and rubies. From the 1950s to the 70s, Maxim's, under the management of Octave Vaudable's son Louis Vaudable, a literate gastronome, became the most famous restaurant in the world , but also one of the most expensive. Together with his wife Magguy, a former journalist, Louis ensured Maxim's international renown.
In 1968, Louis Vaudable founded the Maxim's Business Club. In November 1977, Louis Vaudable and Pierre Cardin joined forces to create the Maxim's "label". In July 1979, the restaurant is listed as a Monument Historique. The restaurant was withdrawn from the Michelin Guide in 1977 at Louis Vaudable's request.
"We asked for a special symbol because we're not like other restaurants. When Michelin refused, I asked [...] that we be removed." - he explained to the New York Times in 1979.

François Vaudable, who had been assisting his father for many years, continued the family tradition. In May 1981, attracted more by the scientific world than the jet set, and not wanting his restaurant to be acquired by foreign investors, he sold Maxim's to Pierre Cardin. The Vaudable era was the longest and the quality of service the most remarkable in Maxim's history.

The arrival of fashion designer Pierre Cardin

From 1981 onwards, Pierre Cardin develops his international aspect by opening seven other Maxim's restaurants: (the one in Paris being renamed "Maxim's de Paris"): Monte-Carlo, Beijing, Geneva, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York and Brussels, while multiplying "Maxim's" licenses (silverware, luggage, furniture, linen, crockery, clothing).

He transformed the three upper floors of the building into a museum dedicated to Art Nouveau, and organized a large number of shows and parties for a younger clientele. However, this development was to the detriment of haute cuisine: despite the involvement of Alain Ducasse, Joël Robuchon and Bernard Loiseau, the quality of the catering declined.
In 2010, Pierre Cardin decided to close Maxim's for lunch. In 2011, "Maxim's Traiteur", launched in 1990, becomes "Maxim's Réceptions", a luxury caterer for individuals and companies.

In 2020, the Maxim's restaurant is open from Wednesday to Saturday, for lunch from 12:30 to 14:00 and for dinner from 19:30 to 22:00.

Maxim's Museum and Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin, the famous couturier known for his futuristic creations, had been a regular at Maxim's since the early 60s. He would dine there with friends including Jeanne Moreau and Jean Cocteau.
Also a great collector of Art Nouveau from an early age, he bought the famous restaurant from Mr. and Mrs. Vaudable in 1981.

The Maxim's museum represents France's first private collection of 1900 art: over 750 pieces of furniture and objets d'art in a 350 m2 apartment on two floors. The collection features some of the finest names in Art Nouveau, including : Louis Majorelle, Eugène Gaillard, Émile Gallé, Hector Guimard, Clément Massier, Tiffany & Co, Antonio de La Gandara, Sem and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. A guided tour of the museum was available every day except Monday and Tuesday, in English at 2 pm and in French at 3:15 pm, with curator Pierre-André Hélène, who founded the museum at Pierre Cardin's request. The museum closes to the public on April 30, 2017, but reopens the following November 15. This site is served by the Concorde metro station.

Maxim's has also left its mark on culinary creation. Famous dishes were created at Maxim's: crêpe Veuve joyeuse, saddle of lamb Belle Otéro, soufflé Rothschild, filet de sole Albert (dedicated to maître d'hôtel Albert Blazer) and tarte Tatin, discovered and integrated into the menu by Louis Vaudable.

The new era beginning in 2023

Pierre Cardin has handed over management of the Maxim's restaurant for 4 years to the Paris Society, a specialist in the luxury sector. The aim is to restore to the establishment at 3 rue Royale the charm of a grand Parisian house, a classic of bourgeois gastronomy, drawing on 130 years of prestigious history, to once again become the festive venue of the Belle Epoque and the gourmet haunt of the post-war era.

Opening days and times have been revised. The dishes "that have made the Maxim's legend, others new, classics refreshed, today's cravings, all driven by happiness and appetite.
Frogs' legs with parsley, cheese soufflé, VGE soup, Henri IV chicken, Albert sole and American-style lobster are all featured.
At the back of the spoon, when it comes to desserts, the irresistible Yann Couvreur reenchants the classics: crêpe Suzette, puffed chocolate mousse, deliciously excited apple with sabayon. Calvados and tonka bean ice cream."

Maxim's sur Seine, Maxim's Catering, Online Shop, Fashion and Accessories Boutique

The Paris Seine cruise line reinvents the Maxim's experience by welcoming the ambiance of the legendary restaurant aboard a cruise in the heart of Paris. It's an exclusive fleet of two Maxim's boats: the Vert Galant and the Bateau Ivre. To offer you a unique experience, the Paris Seine and Maxim's teams have joined forces to faithfully recreate the Art-Deco world of the legendary restaurant ... but on the Seine river. On board, no detail has been left to chance for a cruise back to the Belle Epoque! See URL cruise on the Seine.

At the same time, Maxim's has developed an online Boutique, a top-of-the-range Catering service (for individuals and companies) and points of sale in Paris.

Maxim's in theaters, operettas and cinemas

  • La Dame de chez Maxim, a play in 3 acts by Georges Feydeau created in 1899.
  • The restaurant is the setting for the third act of Franz Lehar's operetta The Merry Widow, created in 1905.
  • La Vénus de chez Maxim's, a 2-act operetta by Harry Blount and Marie Hug created in 1926.

The cinema has also been inspired by Maxim's

  • Gigi by Vincente Minnelli (1958).
  • Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse (1958).
  • Aimez-vous Brahms... by Anatole Litvak (1961).
  • Night of the Generals by Anatole Litvak (1967).
  • Le Chasseur de chez Maxim's by Claude Vital (1976).
  • Chéri by Stephen Frears (2009).
  • Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen (2011).
  • Danièle Thompson's Des gens qui s'embrassent (2013).

Finally, the song and sketch

  • Maxim's, words and music by Serge Gainsbourg, performed by himself in 1963 and covered by Serge Reggiani in 1967.
  • À l'amour comme à la guerre, lyrics, music and performance by Philippe Léotard (1990)14.
  • Le Diner chez Maxim's, sketch by Popec
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