Paris and its cuisine grew increasingly sophisticated through the seventeenth century. Paradoxically, however, the city did not develop a distinctive gastronomic style until the court definitively left it.
Louis XIV moved the court into full-time residence at Versailles in 1682. Paris then became the center of French counterculture. The city’s first extant café, Le Procope, opened just four years later to serve the newly imported beverage coffee to a clientele featuring freethinkers. The institution of the café has epitomized Paris ever since. See café.