Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Where To? For Dinner?

Restaurant, Gastronomy, Guest Room When you are feeling lazy you sometimes head out for dinner. Some times its a fast food place while other times its something a bit more expensive but all of them are classified as restaurants.

I live in a location with an eatery that comes and goes depending on whether the house is needed for living space.  Otherwise its a small coffee shop/takeout with food that is over priced.  You are talking $25 for a plain burger.

The eating places we know as restaurants have only been around since the mid eighteenth century in Paris.  The word restaurant comes from the French name of a meat broth or boullion made for people who were unable to eat a full meal.

Usually restaurants were associated with health institutions which were well decorated, quiet, and attracted the wealthier clientele.  They were several steps above the inns and taverns of the time which were noisy and served the common man. The standard of sitting people at individual tables, ordering food off a menu, and having hours of opening came out of the original restaurants. 

One story about the beginning of a restaurant, states a man added cooked lamb to a stew he sold in his shop somewhere near the Louvre.  It was actually sheep's feet in a white sauce which moved it from a soup to a stew. At this time in 1765, it was illegal for anyone other than the charcutiers guild to cook and sell meat.  The guild sued him for violating rules.  He won by arguing that since the sauce was cooked separately before being poured over the meat he did not tread into their territory because it was not cooked altogether. One book published in 2000 claims it was false because no evidence could be found to support these claims.

This is just before the French revolution.  According to various sources, when the French revolution began, many of the chefs who worked for the wealthy were suddenly out of work so they opened up their own places.  To set themselves apart they began offering the formal seating, menus, etc to provide a more equal experience for the middle class.

Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau in Paris is said to have started the first restaurant in 1766 in Paris while Beauvilliers opened his establishment, Le Grande Taverne de London  in Paris in 1782.  Beauvilliers is credited with listing dishes on a menu, much like the daily specials and having small individual tables available to eat during specific hours.

The first American restaurant opened in 1793 in Boston, run by a French chef who'd lost his job during the French revolution.  This establishment specialized in turtle soup and even went to the extent of advertising in the local newspaper.  Since then, this type of eating place has spread out across the world.  There were ways to eat out before this time but they were much different.  I'll talk about that another day.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.


  1. I love reading history on the things that are so common today! Thanks for sharing this with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop!

    1. Thank you for checking it out. I love researching and finding out more about things we take for granted.

  2. How interesting. I had no idea how restaurants started or when. I know I depend on them quite a bit! :-)

    1. Thank you for stopping by to check it out. I never knew how they started either so it was a surprise learning so much.