A quick jaunt from the Champs-Elysées will bring you to 1 rue Vernet, address of the prestigious Maison du Caviar, which has been an institution in Paris since 1956. This establishment proposes a large choice of caviar—including Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga caviars—while surrounding diners in an elegantly luxurious and lively atmosphere. Both tourists and regulars mingle in the dining room during lunch and dinner. If you are lucky, you just might bump into a French TV or film star, as they are known to frequent this upscale bistro.
This restaurant should definitely be saved for special occasions due to its high-class atmosphere and an extravagant menu that is not suited to all budgets. In addition to caviar, you can choose from a veritable cornucopia of international delights, like Scottish and Norwegian smoked salmon, Scandinavian herring, Greek taramasalata and crab salad. If a hot meal is what you have in mind, a selection of Russian specialties are also on the menu, and the chef can compose a sampler plate that allows you to fully appreciate the complexity of Russian cuisine. A nice choice of vodkas are available to taste along with your meal or as an after-dinner drink.
The decor, although not in sync with the Russian theme of the menu, nonetheless embodies a slightly old-fashioned chic that gives the restaurant a dusty charm. Diners can either be seated at a table or have a quick sampling of the goods at the bar. Members of the staff are caviar connoisseurs themselves, and will not hesitate to share their trade secrets with fellow caviar-lovers. There is even a boutique where you can purchase the same caviar products that you have just tasted and enjoy them back at your room at one of the chic Grands Hotels Parisiens.