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Remember that scene from Midnight in Paris when Gil and Adriana take a carriage back in time to find themselves in Paris at the turn of the 20th century? They met Degas and Gauguin at the Moulin Rouge, but they very well could have ended up in this restaurant!
Founded in 1906 by one of the Chartier brothers, Bouillon Racine is a bastion of the Belle Epoque. This historical monument – indeed, the restaurant’s officially classified as such – was completely renovated in the late 1990s, carefully respecting the original design.
Dining here makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time into the Golden Age of Paris. You half expect to see Auguste Renoir or Claude Monet pop in for a quick meal.
The Art Nouveau décor is quite impressive, with its distinctive whirling motifs everywhere, from the wrought iron chairs and chandeliers to the mirrored walls and green ceramic tile. Upstairs, another dining room equally well decorated welcomes you with a cozy and slightly quieter atmosphere.
On your plate, you’ll find classic French cuisine, though somewhat more sophisticated than what’s on the menu at most traditional bouillons – learn more about these typical Parisian restaurants here. Their sea bass filet with green asparagus and Comté cheese or oeuf parfait with candied pepper and cecina contrast with the simplicity of the dishes offered by other bouillons. Prices remain reasonable though, keeping in line with the original spirit of these workers’ canteens.
For a nostalgic immersion into the Paris of the Belle Epoque following a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens or in the busy Saint Germain neighborhood, head to the Bouillon Racine for a trip back in time. You don’t even need that Midnight in Paris magic!