The founder of Bugatti loved cooking so much that he established a fine-dining restaurant near his factory to welcome his affluent customers. Now more than 100 years old, it has two Michelin stars and serves a 7-course meal for a fraction of what it would cost to change the oil of a Bugatti.

A Minestrone à La Ettore Bugatti, that is. The pioneering inventions (and over 1,000 patents to his name) aside, the French hypercar company founder Ettore Bugatti is also known to have been a connoisseur of fine cuisine, with his minestrone recipe being a favorite of his to serve Christmas guests. Of course, to add fine dining to Bugatti’s repertoire is natural, alongside being a natural-born engineer, keen equestrian, distiller, bicycle and toy maker, furniture designer, and revolutionary for France’s rail network.

The Bugatti HQ in Molsheim

If it isn’t clear already, Ettore Bugatti was a perfectionist, and when nothing existed that was good enough in his mind, he just created it. And so the French restaurant Clos Saint Odile was founded by Ettore Bugatti over 100 years back, and still stands today as the Michelin-starred La Fourchette des Ducs, just a few miles from Bugatti headquarters in Molsheim.

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The table setting inspired by Ettore Bugatti’s hand sketch.

Going by Bugatti’s recent hypercars, like the Chiron and its yet-to-be-named replacement, one wouldn’t necessarily associate the historied French brand with cutlery. But for founder Ettore Bugatti, it seems seeking perfection in every area of his interest came naturally, even down to designing his own cutlery with the ‘EB’ insignia.

Famously, at the launch of the Bugatti EB110 in France, even the champagne bore Ettore Bugatti’s insignia, also the brand’s logo. That may not seem like much now, but back then it was indicative of the attention to detail that came standard with the Bugatti experience.

The restaurant Clos Saint Odile owes its existence to Ettore Bugatti wanting a venue at which to receive Bugatti customers. Bugatti’s friends Lucien Weissenburger, Charles Spindler and artist René Lalique were roped in to make the venue as special as it could be — fitting for Bugatti’s high standards.

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It’s said that a spot by the fireplace in the restaurant was Bugatti’s favorite, and is a place where one can almost tangibly feel the history. The restaurant has since morphed into La Fourchette des Ducs, with two-Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stamm and team behind it.

The team at La Fourchette des Ducs. Via Facebook / @LA FOURCHETTE DES DUCS

At the restaurant, traditional Alsatian recipes from Ettore Bugatti’s time are reimagined with a modern twist. If you’re a Bugatti fan, but with not quite deep enough pockets to own one, we imagine a visit to this Michelin-starred restaurant where Bugatti once wined-and-dined his customers is the closest one can get. A 7-course meal, should you get a reservation, would set you back around $290, whereas a 6-course vegetarian meal would cost you $210. Not too bad considering an oil change for a Bugatti costs $20,000.

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From crafting advertising copy to road testing the latest cars for leading automobile publications, Simran's passions haven taken him all over the world, over the last decade-and-a-half. He's now besotted with the irresistible charm of older cars, and can often be found polishing them to shiny perfection.