It’s not easy getting permission to install a restaurant inside one of Paris’s most cherished monuments: It took Pierre François Blanc the restaurant director five years to get to opening night. But you just have to look at the futuristic white and red interior to know that it was worthwhile, for the Opera Garnier’s first ever restaurant is nothing but visually stunning.
Set in the east wing under arcades that were once used for horse-drawn carriages, architect Odile Decq has created an organic, curvaceous structure, which glides between the walls and ceiling without touching any of the original structure. The windows are just as impressive: massive, curvy panes made especially in Spain, which seem to undulate freely between the opera’s pillars. Even the loos are an experience thanks to an avant-garde sink unit, with a humongous mirror and vertical taps that spray water upwards, only to change colour when you put your hands over them.
Food-wise, you can expect flavoursome dishes like pea gazpacho with a crab and peach salad, lobster with briased fennel and a cider foam, or rhubarb compote with mozzarella sorbet. Chef Stéphane Bidi has been in the kitchen since early 2013 and incorporates influences from all over the world – Thai, Indian and Japanese, among others – in his dishes, and is particular fan of seafood.
When the opera season is in full flow, Le Restaurant de l’Opéra will serve food from 6pm to midnight, so you can dine, in style, before or after the show.