20 Rue d'Artois (btwn Rue de Berri & Rue Paul Baudry), Paris, 75008, France
Tel: +33 1 4380 1966
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Tue-Sat 6:30pm-1am
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Images By: diffordsguide.com
For twenty years gourmets flocked to Jean-Pierre Vigato's revered two-star destination in the 17th arrondisment. But Apicius, although still named after the famous Roman gourmet, has had a new home since December 2004. The restaurant now sits in a grandiose 18th-century house in the 8th arrondissement and has a new bar to match.
As you approach this splendid house, complete with lawn, it is hard to believe you're in the centre of Paris. Things become even more surreal when you notice the dinner table surrounded by grazing stone animals. Perhaps this theatrical touch was the idea of the French film producer, Luc Besson, who owns the property and has kept the upstairs to himself.
The bar, to the left as you enter, is in a suitably grand room. Cherubs flit about the ceiling fresco, which is draped with crystal chandeliers and supported by ornate plaster columns. The feel is formal but relaxed and the lighting dim. Low chairs and tables rest on a most unusual check carpet. This refined cocktail lounge has no formal list but, judging by our experience, a request for just about any classic will yield a superbly mixed drink.