This spring, British oenophiles can sample decades-old Burgundies and unparalleled Rhône reds at Les 110 de Taillevent in London, the new wine bar offshoot of Paris’s iconic Taillevent restaurant. On offer: an extraordinary 110 wines by the glass, including many hard-to-find selections rarely poured for individual diners. The wine bar is the latest outpost in a long, storied restaurant history: Jane Sigal, F&W’s France correspondent and the author of the forthcoming book Bistronomy: Recipes from the Best New Paris Bistros, reminisces about the original Taillevent in Paris. “The thing for me that made it an icon is that at its height, it was the step before what fine dining restaurants became later: It was really about the owner, Jean-Claude Vrinat, who had an amazing partnership with his chef,” she says. “It was one of those restaurants that everyone had to go to. I saved up money to go there—I still have the menu hanging up on my wall. There were certain dishes that were classics, like the seafood boudin. Vrinat was super interested in wine; he was, throughout his entire lifetime, creating the cellar at Taillevent. He amassed these wines over a lifetime.” taillevent.com
The Taillevent Empire: A Timeline
14th century – The restaurant's namesake, Guillaume Tirel (nicknamed Taillevent—"wind-cutter"—for his long nose) writes Le Viandier, claimed to be the first known French cookbook.
1946 – André Vrinat opens Taillevent in Paris; the restaurant earns its first Michelin star two years later.