Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ralph, An American in Paris

You could call it the American Invasion in Paris. The brilliant designer and businessman Ralph Lauren recently opened a 13,000 square foot store on Paris' Left Bank. He began his empire selling men's ties in school which evolved into his own tie label, Polo. Then came the Polo shirt in every imaginable color. His award winning menswear line branched into lines for women, children, and the home. It is a style all his own and speaks American. This flagship store on boulevard St. Germain in Paris is housed in a mid 1600's townhouse that was meticulously restored over several years. Ralph Lauren's premier clothing and accessory collection is tantalizingly presented in this grand site. Entering through the Passage-Cochère, or coach gate, is the courtyard for the restaurant, Ralph's. It is, The Hamptons meets Paris. The blue and white cushioned wrought iron furniture mingled well with the limestone courtyard. Inside, a fine hunting lodge decor with a massive fireplace hosts white linen lined tables, dotted with red rose bouquets. The large oak bar was full of activity. My friends, Nancy and Debbie, chose Ralph's for a birthday toast to me. How lucky can a girl get? **Big smiles** We sat and sipped our rosé in this blue and white heaven. It was 5pm and they were setting up for the evening as we took this break from shopping (it's Paris sale season!) before dinner. We looked at the menu for a future visit, since we had other dinner plans. New York's chef, Danny Meyer (Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Park Tavern) was consulted on the menu to offer all-American fare.Among other things, you can order a €24 hamburger made from Angus beef shipped from Lauren's cattle ranch in Colorado. We thought the Chilled Sweet Pea Soup and Lamb Chops with Potatoes au Gratin would be a definite choice next time. But for now we had finished our wine and headed toward the multilevel store. On every floor of this elegant building are different collections that are the timeless and quintessential Ralph Lauren style. Brooding style. Colorful style. Even the powder room had style! It was time to make our way to dinner for our reservations, so we bade au revoir to this American oasis in the heart of Paris. We can't wait to go back!Later, after dinner, as I blew out my candle I made a wish.....(it may have involved an "R") Don't you just love birthdays??Ralph Lauren173, boulevard St. Germain, 75006 Paris
01 44 77 76 00