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Under the reign of Henry the 3rd, facing the wine docks just after the Saint-Bernard Gate, a certain Rourteau opened an elegant inn. The nearby Château de la Tournelle had been built with stones from the champagne region nearby that had some silvery reflections in the evening. It would give the establishment its name "L'Hôstellerie de La Tour d'Argent." Already used in some homes in Italy, the fork made its first appearance in France at the Tour d'Argent.
It was a remarkable invention to prevent gentlemen from staining the immaculate fashionable ruff worn around the neck. Henry IV inaugurated the fantastic piece of cutlery at a much talked about dinner in Paris. From that evening onwards, the Tour d'Argent could not be ignored and Henry IV regularly came to savor the heron paté, which made the reputation of Rourteau, the owner of the establishment.
Henry IV granted La Tour d'Argent an emblem. The crest, "Cuisinier-oyer-traiteur", hung above the door of the inn till the reign of Louis XIV. The emblem of the restaurant was "a dish covered in sand accompanied by three crowns of ivy and sinople, completely in silver" while that of the inn was "a crenelated silver tower in a field of snap dragons". La Tour d'Argent remained the place to savor refined suppers.
With the turmoil of the Revolution a thing of the past, Lecoq, Head Chef of the imperial kitchens, re-built the restaurant in 1830. The establishment was once again celebrated by gourmets like the Duke de Mornay and the Countess le Hon, The Lady of the Camellias, and even Lord Seymour.
La Tour d'Argent evolves, and the restaurant covers itself with luxurious wooden panels. A sumptuous forged gate marks the new entrance, moved from the number 15 on the Quai de la Tournelle to the corner of the Quai de la Tournelle and the rue du Cardinal Lemoine. André Terrail achieved what he had been planning for a long time. He added two floors to the building and heightened the Tour to the sixth floor to create the best panorama one could ever dream of.
One can only appreciate the architectural marvels necessary to create the now familiar room, built on steel poles, without which the building would not have been able to hold the weight. To begin with, it was an open terrace, which was then closed off with an awning and then finally by huge bay windows. Gradually the Tour developed the structure it has today; the second room was open, the kitchens transferred to the sixth floor and a bigger lift was installed.
Famous cognacs from the La Tour d'Argent wine cellar: 1800 La Tour d'Argent Grand Fine Champagne,1805 La Tour d'Argent Grande Champagne Terrail,1810 La Tour d'Argent Renault & Co Réserve, Grande Fine Champagne,1870 La Tour d'Argent A. Terrail, Grande Fine Champagne,1893 La Tour d'Argent Grande Fine Champagne.
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