maître d’ - Ralph's, Paris
Written by Oryx
Set within his new flagship store in Paris, Ralph Lauren’s restaurant ‘Ralph’s’ presents authentic American cuisine in a very French setting.
Housed within a historic mansion at 173 Boulevard Saint Germain, the restaurant offers a unique dining experience in authentic Parisian surroundings.
“I want it to be the best restaurant of its kind in Paris, offering great American food in the most beautiful and romantic setting,” says Ralph Lauren. “It will have gracious hospitality with a glamorous, yet informal sophistication,” he adds.
The restaurant itself is housed in the former stables and cobblestoned courtyard of the building, where guests can dine outside under grand umbrellas to the sound of flowing water from the horse-watering fountain, or indoors by the antique fireplace.
The mix of vintage and modern fabrics with weathered teak and wrought-iron furniture creates a sophisticated rustic charm in the courtyard. Inside, wooden beams, worn leather, and unfinished limestone invoke a lived-in comfort in the 48-seat main dining room, and saddle racks and vintage horse blankets enhance the equestrian vibe.
The flavours of Ralph’s are distinctly American; the menu is crafted from Ralph Lauren’s own personal choices. Imported Maine lobster, Maryland crab, US-raised organic hotdogs, and Black Angus beef are just some of the dishes that may be found on the menu. The succulent tenderloin and strip steaks are in fact products of Ralph Lauren’s own RRL Ranch in Colorado and exclusively served at his Parisian establishment.
“I think the story of the menu is like the classic film An American in Paris,” he says. “I want the food to be genuinely American, but set in a mood that is genuinely international. The contrast should be unique and memorable.”
Classic cocktails, including versions of Mint Juleps, Whiskey Sours, and Ralph Lauren’s favourite – Frozen Margaritas – are expertly mixed. The finest American and French wines are selected to complement the rich but simplistic American cuisine and complete an idyllic dining experience.
173 Boulevard Saint Germain
Built as an hôtel particulier in 1683, 173 Boulevard Saint Germain is accessed through a grand passage cochere, or arcade, that leads to an interior courtyard, which originally offered its residents an airy space to relax while accommodating their horses and carriages in six large stables just beyond. These rear buildings, standing two floors high, now constitute the restaurant, which opens out onto the courtyard.
Many areas of the interior, finished in the French rococo style, have been restored, with finishes ranging from rough limestone pavers to plaster moulding and carvings in the more formal rooms. The equestrian ‘spirit’ of the original stables is preserved within the aged white oak panelling, ‘Versailles’-style parquet flooring, and heavy timbered ceilings of the main dining room.
“I wanted to create a unique environment that captures the glamour, culture, and the artistic spirit of the Paris that I have fallen in love with. Now, with this store opening, in the most romantic part of the city, I finally feel I have been able to tell my whole story in Paris,” says Ralph Lauren.