My friend Coralie had lunch today at Le Grand Véfour, and sends the picture above to prove it.  Envy her!

The first “grand restaurant” in Paris, Le Grand Véfour opened in 1784 as the Café de Chartres.  Napoleon is said to have dined there.  In 1820 it was bought by Jean Véfour and renamed.  Between then and 1905, when it closed for 42 years, every famous French person you've ever heard of, like Victor Hugo, and many you haven't heard of, dined there.  It was reopened in 1948, and became a favorite hang-out of Colette, who lived nearby.

Its decor doesn't seem to have changed much since its Café de Chartres days — the food is more variable.  From time to time it will lose its third Michelin star, then regain it.  Each development in the ongoing drama is headline news in France.

Coralie describes the experience of dining there today as “'si raffiné'!  C'est un pur moment esthétique.