The Opera Restaurant – A Grotto Full of Light
The first impression when entering the Opera Restaurant at the Palais Garnier is being in a grotto. I imagined growing mushrooms. My husband imagined the grotto in Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera”. We were both right. Contrary to your normal grotto though, this one is full of light and color.
The fantasy of the menu is reflected in the ingredients. Keeping in the spirit of the Opera as a restaurant and as a place, mushrooms and honey from the hives on the Opera’s roof top are found in several dishes.
The dishes area created by Yann Tanneau and Hervé Moreau and the architectural design is the work of French architect, Odile Decq; they work in harmony.
The dream of a restaurant here and the fantasy of the interior are pure French. It was Charles Garnier’s 1875 dream to install a restaurant in the space of the “Rotonde du Glacier”. “Le Phantom” opened in June 2011.
In an interview on Telematin’s France 2 (click “voir le video”), the architect, Odile Decq, explained that no walls, pillars or columns or the vault were to be touched with the new interior. The concession lasts for twenty years. If they want to return the space to its original setting, everything can be removed. The Opera is a classified building. It is a Monument Historique; nothing can be altered according to the architect. This is the first major modernization since Chagall painted the Opera’s ceiling.
Madame Decq continued in the interview that there were very few constraints on imagining the design. She drew the façade and kept its wavy form. The idea is simple, she said; putting the design into practice was the challenge.
- The reservation system on line works perfectly. A calendar opens in a separate window and shows the times available. Follow the prompts.
- The menu is only available in French. The main ingredient to the left of the menu will be listed in your French phrase book. The ingredients are more detailed and will be yummy and you will enjoy your choice.
- Time is needed for preparation, this will not be a fast food restaurant. Lunch prices are always lower than dinner prices.
- The chef has two stars, the food was well prepared and tasty. In general, the meal and presentation was very good but nothing extraordinary.
- The menu shows a red circle to the left. These items are available on the fixed price lunch menu, which includes a 50cl. bottle of water.
- Outdoor dining is available under parasols
- You are welcome to visit the mezzanine
Although everyone dining at lunch time seemed quite satisfied, you can’t please everyone. A couple sat down next to us, they spoke no French nor could they read the menu. They wanted the menu translated (during the busiest part of lunch). In addition, the man was experiencing a low blood sugar moment. They left.
Plan on at least one and a half hours for your lunch. Sample Lunch Menu Opera Restaurant (.pdf format)
Restaurant de l’Opéra
Palais Garnier (facing the front of the Opera, walk to the right. The Apple store is on a diagonal to the restaurant)
Place Jacques Rouché 9th arr.
Reserve online, it is very convenient
Tél. : 01 42 68 86 80
National Opera of Paris
Click on the photos to enlarge
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