Poccardi Restaurant, Paris
Poccardi’s was a Parisian institution and, at one time, the most famous Italian restaurant in Paris.
The establishment was first opened at 12 Rue Favart opposite the entrance to the Opera Comique with dining rooms upstairs and downstairs along with various private rooms. Each room was offered the same menu and there were no variants in pricing. The upstairs room always seemed to preserve a little more select atmosphere and was regarded as ‘snugger’ with a more intimate and sophisticated atmosphere perfect for couples or small parties. It became the most favoured Italian restaurant in Paris with an exceptional cellar and highly regarded cusine. As one gourmet said ‘there is no establishment more popular or better filled that Poccardi’s.’
However, such was its popularity that it became difficult to dine in peace and comfort as the atmosphere was ardent, the tables thronged with people and the din immense. At times the restaurant even overflowed onto the boulevard.
Another, much larger and sumptuously decorated branch was soon opened situated rather appropriately at 9 Boulevard des Italiens with a bar at 36 Rue Saint Marc. This became equally popular and during Expo ’25 it became an exotic attraction for visitors and certainly after 1925 is was greatly more in vogue.
A typical dinner began with a range of hors d’oeuvres washed down with a sparkling Lacrima Crisiti Rose. Moving onto the Chianti there would have been an extensive menu of minestone soup, lobster Fra Diavolo, linguine with red clam sauce, thick country bread and shaved Parmesan cheese, mini calzones, eggplant Parmigiana, grilled Italian sausage and Veal Sorrentino. Lastly, a simple zabaglione and then cheeses with some delightful dessert wine.
Like so many other gourmet palaces its former glory is long gone and it is now part of the modern fondness of chains that eradicate individuality, this one called Bistro Romain.
All images and text © copyright Gary Chapman / Jazz Age Club and must not be re-used without prior consent
Paris a La Carte by Sommervile Story
Paris Restaurants by Robert-Robert
How to Wine and Dine in Paris by Robert Forrest Wilson