Founded by three actor friends, Francis Lemonnier, Francis Nani, and Christian Azzopardi more than a half-century ago, Le Coupe-Chou has been a gracious host to a great number of VIPs, from artists to royalty. The Beatles, Brigitte Bardot, and Marlene Dietrich are only a few of the celebrities that enjoyed a quiet and discreet meal here.
And this is where Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark celebrated her engagement to Frenchman Henri de Laborde of Monpezat, future Prince consort.
The building’s history goes back much further than that, all the way to medieval days. Legend says, King Henri IV would meet his beautiful mistress, Gabrielle d’Estrées, on the streets outside Le Coupe-Chou. Another, much more somber legend, mentions a certain blood-thirsty 14th-century barber who would slay his victims with a razor, a coupe-chou in French. It’s up to anyone’s imagination to decide if that was indeed the origin of the name.
Gory legend aside, visiting Le Coupe-Chou is guaranteed to be a memorable experience. The highlight is, naturally, the food, with a menu that lists scrumptious dishes like sea bream with mango butter and fennel, hearty beef bourguignon, and a classic ratatouille with herbes de Provence, burrata, pesto, and walnut oil.
The service is attentive and yet discreet. The decor is old-school French: charming, inviting, and cozy, with plush velvety furniture and the warmth of a fireplace set ablaze on colder days. The restaurant has several rooms spread throughout three buildings; among them a library, a barber’s hall, a Conciergerie, and an English-inspired dining room.
No matter where you choose to enjoy your dinner, it will be an unforgettable one. Le Coupe-Chou has that certain “je ne sais quoi” that is quintessentially French, and you will leave with the feeling that you experienced one of those rare moments of perfection that can only happen in a classic Parisian restaurant.