The white wonder of the lady in black

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Reviewed on 06/28/2011 | No Reviews


Odile Decq designed new restaurant in the Garnier Opéra

It has been long, very long, but now it’s done: 136 years after the inauguration of the Opéra Garnier, the historic house finally got a restaurant just called l’Opéra. Not very original, you might object.

But wait, this is just the name. The interior has recently created a lot of buzz. And with good reason. The restaurant, which was inaugurated yesterday night, is a stunning space: there are the historical walls, the old splendour, there is this strong past with its clear codes. And then all of a sudden the future shows up: the polymorph, the indefinite, the inspiring. The rotunda is closed in with white, undulating glass. Inside, it looks as if a spaceship had landed in the middle of the splendid past. A white cloud is hovering over the heads. Banquettes and chairs have the colour of blood.

It’s opera

This is dramatic setting, indeed. But what do you want? After Tosca has hurled herself over the edge of the balcony of Castel Sant’Angelo, you can’t possibly sit down in a MacDonald. It’s opera, after all.

It took several years, some delays and six million Euros to accomplish this stunning place. Some people compared the aesthetic effect to that created by Anish Kapoors Monumenta balloon in the Grand Palais, which is definitely exaggerated. But still.

The archistar

It is Odile Decq, a French architect, who signed the interiors. She is called the lady in black, because everything is black with her: her dresses, her hair, her nails, her car, the paintings she collects… She is not what you would call a star in France. But she might become one. In Italy, she’s already one: “architstar” was the headline of “la Stampa” after inauguration of the Macro, the museum of contemporary art in Rome that she had designed last year.

Now you might wonder what the food is like. I can’t tell you yet. The restaurant has opened, but not the kitchen. You can only go there for a drink. And from Friday on, Christophe Aribert, two Michelin stars, will rule over the kitchen. His executive chef is Yann Tanneau. You will have to pay a bit for the location, of course. Average lunch menu is 40 €, average dinner menu 60€.

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The white wonder of the lady in black, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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