Located at 102 Boulevard Montparnasse, La Coupole is a witness to Parisian life during the roaring twenties. Built in 1927, it has welcomed its share of illustrious diners from Picasso to Edith Piaf, Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir or Man Ray and George Braque. And more recently my grandmother and I. Over the years, we have made it our tradition to meet there for a oysters, chablis and foie gras whenever I’m in town.
With its glamorous history and superb interior featuring 32 art deco columns, the dining hall at La Coupole has been classified as a historical monument since 1988. Which is just around the time that the restaurant was acquired by FLO, a restaurant group that owns many of the most famous brasseries in the city, including Bofinger near my parents’ place or Julien. Today, La Coupole is still popular with tourists and locals alike and I highly recommend you make a quick stop Boulevard Montmarpasse for a sumptuous breakfast, leisurely lunch or typically parisian dinner if you ever find yourself in my hometown. You can even extend the evening a little longer by heading to Le Dancing downstairs…
My next trip home to Paris is a few months away so I was thrilled to hear that, Jean-Philippe Bourgueil, the acclaimed chef from la Coupole, was coming to DC and bringing some of the spirit (and food) of the legendary brasserie along with him. On Tuesday, April 12, Chef Bourgueil will recreate some the classic culinary delights served at la Coupole at The Washington Club, while pianist Marcus Johnson and DJ Young Pulse will recreate some of the ambiance from Le Dancing with their contemporary tunes. Between lavish courses of scallop with lobster sauce (La Coupole is particularly known for its seafood), moelleux de saint jacques et saumon sauce champagne (I tried to translate this dish but just couldn’t do it justice… just know it involves salmon, scallops and champagne) or Berry gaspacho with thin almond biscuits, guests will be able to peruse a silent auction of photographs benefiting Rotary International as well as sample and purchase a limited edition perfume created just for the occasion. If you’re like me and you can’t make it to Paris any time soon, you’re in luck, because a little bit of Paris is coming to you this week!
This event takes place at 7PM on Tuesday April 12 and is organized by L’Alliance Francaise in collaboration with Rotary Club, Paris Academies and The Washington Club. General Admission is $70, $45 for Members of Rotary International and Alliance Française de Washington members. Registration required. (202) 234-7911. In addition to this special evening at The Washington Club, Chef Bourgueil will also spend some time sharing some of his recipes during a cooking class at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg on the 13th, noon-2PM Later that evening, he will be joined by Roland Borne, Technical Director for FLO Brasseries for a discussion (in French, $20) at l’Alliance Francaise on the topic of Parisian Brasseries.