A historically ranked landmark, the Maxim’s restaurant has become a symbolic place of Art Nouveau, French Gastronomy and also the most imperative meeting place for numerous international celebrities.
The legend of Maxim’s begins in 1893 when Maxime Gaillard, formerly a waiter, opens a small bistro at 3 rue Royale.
On May 21, 1893, the day of the Prix de Diane, Irma de Montigny, a young Parisian comedian enters Maxim’s. Excited by what she discovers, she says to Maxime Gaillard, ‘I’m going to help launch your restaurant.’ She keeps her word and a legend begins…
In 1898, Maxime Gaillard then leaves the place to Eugène Cornuché.
Art Nouveau, which inspires true passion, gives Eugène Cornuché an idea to decorate the Maxim’s restaurant by using great artists from the Nancy School. In less than two years, they transform the restaurant into an Art Nouveau temple.
His secret weapon was the women. He often said, ‘an empty room……..never! I always have a beauty sitting by the window, in view from the sidewalk.’ Therefore, Cornuché received Maxim’s elite French gallantry and a legend was created.
In the heart of Paris, between Place de la Concorde and the Madeleine, stands rue Royale. The façade of Maxim’s, a symbol of Art Nouveau, was completed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle.
The elegant interiors are inspired by fauna, flora and feminine charm, flowing gracefully with undulation. Seemingly, one can find red poppies, lilies, irises, chestnut leaves, dragonflies, butterflies, insects and birds throughout the restaurant. Art Nouveau banishes all angles and straight lines in favor of curvy, sensual and round shapes that wrap and entangle it. Great artists such as Gallé, Guimard, Marjorelle, Tiffany and Macintosh were the leaders of this artistic movement.
The Stars of Maxim’s
The royal, wealthy and famous people from Tout-Paris of the early century socialized at Maxim’s. Famous guests of the 1930s included Edward VII, Marcel Proust, the playwright Georges Feydeau who wrote the popular comedy called La Dame de Chez Maxim’s (‘The Lady from Maxim’s’), the exquisite Yvonne Printemps, Sacha Guity with his sense of humor, Greta Garbo, and Marlène Dietrich…
However, the most prosperous period remains the fifties decade with guests such as Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, the Windsors, the producer Max Ophüls, and the wealthy Barbara Hutton, the heiress of Woolworth stores and the wife to Cary Grant. All of Hollywood dines on the luxury banquettes of this grande salle.
In the seventies, Brigitte Bardot causes a scandal by entering barefoot in the restaurant. Sylvie Vartan dances with John Travolta and we recognize Jeanne Moreau, Barbara Streisand, Barbara Hendricks and Pierre Cardin…
Today, the restaurant welcomes the contemporary artistic world and the display is exquisite: Hosting Alexander McQueen to Andrea Casiraghi, Jean Michel Villmotte to Sophie Calle, Renée Flemming, Gloria princess of Thurn and Taxis, Dita Von Teese and Lady Gaga.
The Recipes of Maxim’s
During the Belle Époque, a new gastronomy is born. The menu becomes more like a dress code where it boasts mixed soups, eight to ten entrées, roasts, salads, and desserts.
Many recipes were developed during the time of splendorous gourmet meals in the kitchens of Maxim’s restaurant.
The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays and for lunches except for groups from 40 people.
Restaurant Maxim’s de Paris
3, Rue Royale, 75008 Paris
Subway lines :1, 8, 12 – Concorde Station
Subway lines : 14, 8, 12 – Madeleine Station
Bus lines : 24, 42, 84, 94 Concorde stop
Bus lines : 52, 73, 72, Balabus – Concorde / Place de la Concorde stops
Parking Concorde : Place de la Concorde
Parking Madeleine : Place de la Madeleine
MAXIM’S around the world
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