Looking for a place to have dinner we stumbled upon this charming little French restaurant just next to Notre Dame cathedral, on Ile de la Cité.
La Maison du Vieux was built in 1512, of the stones left over from building Notre Dame cathedral. At this time there were 37 houses built for monks and only 2 of them have survived today. In 1723 the building was bought by a wine merchant, turning it into the restaurant that exists to this day. Being almost 300 years old, it is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris where you can really feel the history as you enter. Even the name of the place suggests that it is an “Old House” in translation.
Fortunately the history reflects in the tradition of French cooking, but not in the age of the food itself. They offer high quality courses freshly prepared of products coming from organic farms of South of France. The restaurant also has their own wine cellar.
We were seated upstairs at the window with the view to the towers of the cathedral. History is reflected in every detail of the interior design: the heavily figured red fabric for wallpaper and tented ceilings, the antique prints, the exposed stonework and rich draperies. The whole place feels truly authentic and utterly French.
The food was very good! La Maison du Vieux offered a complementary starter of mushroom soup, I had scallops as main course and crisp Crème Brûlée for dessert, accompanied by the best quality Chardonnay.
All in all exceptionally pleasant experience and just the idea of the place having served meals for nearly 300 years already, made it feel really impressive!