Ralph’s : American in Paris
Article by Melissa Ladd
Some places, no matter where they are, just remind me of my roots. Ralph’s is one of those places. The Ralph Lauren restaurant at the flagship store on the boulevard Saint Germain is like opening a door in Paris and entering into New England. I felt like I had stepped out of Paris upon stepping over that threshold. It was like going home. Thank you Mama Chérie for such a wonderful lunch! 💖
We visited the store first, which blew me away. Built in a 16th century hôtel particulier, this store is like no other I have ever been in, and I have seen the best of the best (those of you who know me well, knew what I mean). Image shopping in a gorgeous mansion, something the Kennedys would have decorated, complete with all the plush luxuries of said mansion : ample couches, closets expertly arranged, fresh flowers and a staff that is as gracious as it is elegant.
After feasting our eyes on fine silks and cashmere, we went to feast our Gucci glossed mouths with the finest of foods that Mr Lauren has to offer.🍴 I was immediately sold on the lobster salad. It is so hard to find well cooked lobster in France, it’s never fresh and never tender. This salad was everything I had hoped for (although it could have used a little bit more lobster meet). The crustacean flesh was soft and tender, juicy and perfectly matched with the grapefruit and cilantro. I washed it down with the perfect Hendricks gin and tonic (with lime thank you very much).🍸 We were helped in our decision to have coffee by the neighboring table who had ordered it moments before we were about to settle the bill…coffee is served with homemade caramel popcorn. You don’t want to pass up on that! ☕️ Sweet and savory and sticking to your teeth, just like it is supposed to be…
But more than the fine Yankee food, the service was also impeccably North American as well. The lovely server had her hair pulled back in a pony tail (they all did), and she asked how we were as she greeted us. This may seem like a small detail, but when you haven’t heard a query like that at a restaurant in over 14 years, well it tends to mark you when you do finally hear it. The server also checked on us mid-meal to see how we were…in heaven that’s how!
The staff was very talented, everyone was beautiful and we thanked them several times. It was such a delight to be able to indulge in that American style of service, right in the heart of Paris! I can’t wait to go back for brunch when the weather is warmer.