LA TOUR D’ARGENT’S FAMOUS
CANARD A LA PRESSE
After 60 years at the helm of the world famous restaurant, Claude Terrail retired, turning over the management to his son (Andre) whom he has been for years grooming for the position.
Diners enjoy the best views of Paris from the front seats of La Tour d’Argent and have been patronizing the famous restaurant for decades. Tourists, particularly, seem to be enamoured with the restaurant's formal service, excellent food, and extensive wine list.
La Tour d’Argent is particularly famous for its pressed duck recipe, revived in 1890 by the then owner Frederic Delair after he found it in an old cookbook. He then decided to number each canard a la presse and present the tag to the diner.
On June 21, 1921 Emperor Hiro Hito ate duck 53,211, and fifty years later on October 3 duck number 423,900. In November 2002, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, consumed duck number 971,612.
Caneton Tour d’Argent consists of two-courses, first the breasts are cooked in port, cognac and the essence of pressed duck carcass. Later, the legs are presented in the heavy but delicious sauce for the pleasure of the diner. All this must be washed down with delightful Cotes du Rhone wine, worthy of the excellent taste of the caneton.
Claude Terrail is the epitome of an old-fashioned impeccably dressed, and mannered French restaurateur who is diplomatic. He has always maintained that discretion in the restaurant trade and attention to detail are two very important factors for success.
During his long career, he served thousands of royalty and dignitaries like King Edward VII, Theodore Roosevelt, J.F. Kennedy, Nobel prize winners, Alexander Fleming just to name a few.
On Mondays the restaurant is closed, and then the cleaner gets the best table enjoying his home-cooked meal reheated in the venerated La Tour d’Argents kitchens.
Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu