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Tour d’Argent Paris : Lunch at One of the Oldest Restaurants

Tour d’Argent Paris was a restaurant that we were curious about for a while. It has a history that dates back to 1582 and is said to be one of the oldest in Paris. However, in terms of Paris Michelin Guide rankings, it has seen better days.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

According to Wikipedia, it had three Michelin Stars from 1933 to1996 when it lost one of its stars. Then to one star since 2006, which is the current status. But it has managed to remain a highly regarded restaurant on the Paris dining scene, particularly for its famous pressed duck dish and its impressive wine collection of around 300,000 bottles in its wine cellar.

The Silver Tower Restaurant

That is what the name means in English. Tour d’Argent Paris is located on the sixth floor of a building that is on the left bank of River Seine. With a river side location and being higher than surrounding buildings, one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Latin Quarter neighbourhood and the islands across the river, with the Notre Dame being the most recognisable landmark.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

This is the ground-floor lobby where we were greeted before being escorted up the lift to level 5.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

Tour d’Argent Restaurant Dress Code

This is a view northwards from Tour d’Argent Paris. We were grateful for the deep eaves that shielded the windows from glare on a hot sunny day. We thought that the restaurant decor is a successful blend of traditional and contemporary. It looks less formal than Le Clarence which we visited earlier on this trip.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

According to the restaurant website FAQ, the dress code states as follows: “At the Tour d’Argent restaurant, a jacket is compulsory for gentlemen at lunchtime and in the evening …”. At the time of our lunch it seemed that most men were in compliance. Quite a few people wore trainers (but nothing overly colourful). Ladies especially can look quite trendy in all white sneakers. Diners tend to be more casual these days especially for lunch, which is a good thing. Dinner time is likely to be more formal (and stiff?).

Tour d’Argent Paris Wine List

The famed wine list at Tour d’Argent Paris looks like a heavy hardcover coffee table book. We did a quick flip through and the range of wine is bewildering. Many vineyards listed are available in various vintages, adding to the number of choices available. We could spend an hour just having a quick look through.

Tour d'argent wine list

We stopped searching at one of the earliest ‘chapters’ of the book – Loire Vallery wines. These are one of our favourite types to order at restaurants as these are usually consistently good and relatively affordable. A bottle of 2000 Nicolas Joly Savennieres caught our eye as we have not seen this before. We have also not ordered such as old bottle of white wine at a restaurant. There was a possibility that it was past its prime. It was a risk worth taking with its relatively low price of 120 euros.

Tour d'argent wine list

The sommelier skilfully opened the bottle without incident using a two pronged wine puller. Everyone was glad that the wine was in good condition.

The colour had evolved into a rich gold colour. It did not have the familiar fresh taste of a young white wine but had one that was more complex. In fact it looked and tasted like a Sauternes dessert wine but without the sweetness.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

Lunch Menu

At the time of our visit there were several options for lunch – a four course (150€) Tour d’Argent lunch menu, a Temps & Saisons (360€) five course menu, a Ronomeé (440€) six-course menu (which has very premium ingredients) and the a la carte menu. We picked the most affordable one.

Start of Lunch at Tour d’Argent Paris

It has to be said that the table setting at Tour d’Argent is very attractive. Lots of silverware and crystal decorations beautify the tablescape.


A few amuse bouche items kicked off our lunch. They were all delightful.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

Next to follow were two fish starters. The first I believe was salmon and the second a piece of roasted monkfish. Both very good in quality and flavour.

Main course was the highlight of our lunch – roasted duck. No this is not the famous duck dish. For that one has to order the Duckling Frédéric Delair (440€ per person) – named after the waiter who became owner that invented the dish. This is a unique dish of duck served with a ‘blood sauce’ by squeezing the juices of a duck carcass, after the good meat parts have been removed. You can view it on Youtube. For us, having a taste of the famous Challans Duck was good enough. It was lightly flavoured with a fine-grained texture, almost like a good cut of beef.

Tour d'argent paris restaurant review

Votre Canard (Your Duck) No. 1,184,418

The restaurant has a tradition of tracking the number of ducks served since the days of Frédéric Delair in around 1890. Our duck was no. 1,184,418. This card was presented to as a momento at the end of our meal.

Dessert and End of Lunch

A palette cleanser, dessert and petit fours brought our interesting lunch at Tour d’Argent Paris to a pleasant end. Service was attentive and friendly. We thought that it was quite a value for money meal at a fancy French restaurant in Paris. Menu prices here (as in many of the restaurants we tried on this list) were nett, i.e. with no extra VAT or service charge added.

Across the bridge in front of the restaurant (Pont de la Tournelle) and from there to Right Bank after lunch.

Food: 5
Service: 4
Value: 4
Atmosphere: 5
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs  

5 tops

Tour d’Argent Paris
15 Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris, France

Open for Lunch and Dinner on Tuesday to Saturday
Closed on Sunday and Monday


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