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MAXIM`S DE PARIS opened in the basement of the Astor Towers hotel  at 1300 N. Astor in December of 1963. Nancy Goldberg’s creation was quite an impressive restaurant with its red and gold decor, shiny brass trims, dark wood furniture, mirrors on the walls, chandeliers, beautiful French sterling and serving carts, and above all typical French polished but discrete service . The whole place, that wanted to resemble as much as possible to the French original Maxim’s on Rue Royale in Paris was located in a building designed by her husband, famous local architect Bertrand Goldberg, but there was no stained glass dome over the dining room. It was initially operated under the management of Louis Vaudable, owner of Maxim’s in Paris, with the help of an efficient “Directeur” Raymond Bompart who had a solid professional background in traditional French and European hotels and restaurants. He was a maitre d’hotel at the Ambassador hotel in Chicago in 1960 before going back to Paris to Maxim’s. The menu was a repertoire of French classics: From Cream of Mussels Soup, Sole Albert, Mousse de Foie Gras, Foie Gras sauce Périgourdine, Steak Diane, Filet de Boeuf en Croûte, Pommes soufflées, to Veal Orloff, and of course marvelous dessert soufflés. The wine list was probably the richest in Chicago at the time in Great Bordeaux and Bourgognes. All the celebrities who came to town and the local “beautiful people” would of course start their dinner with Champagne.  But many of the former French employees of the original Maxim’s from the early sixties, such as Georges Cuisance, Christian Gaborit, Gérard Humilier, Michel Grobon, Michel Laurent, Jean-Paul Weber, René Borderie, Pierre Monet, Raymond Soubrier, or Jean-Claude Berger, stayed around and opened their own restaurants, or work for some others in Chicago.
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