When you write about food, you read a lot of press releases. Regardless of the level of journalistic integrity your gig requires and your willingness to write about what you're asked to write about, you'll receive enough p.r. emails to strain your wireless connection. Frequently, the emails read like movie trailer voice-overs. You're compelled to believe that each new opening will shake up the scene, when, like most movies, most restaurants retread familiar terrain. The most absurd release we have ever received arrived this week. We're hoping it's a fake. The subject line is a good start: “The most long-awaited restaurant of all time is getting ready to open its doors.”
On June 27th, the Paris Opera will get the restaurant it has been waiting for since 1875. Sounds momentous, right?
In some odd marketing angle, the chef, Christophe Aribert was “a secret until the last minute.” Aribert recently spent over a decade at an eatery in a town near Grenoble where he “discretely re-interpreted, in a very creative fashion way, the riches of his country.”
From the French, “discrète” could easily translate as “distinct” or “unique,” but we're still getting a good visual off this. A plucked duck peers out from the walk-in cooler in the kitchen of the Paris Opera's new restaurant. As Aribert whistles to himself and looks the other way, she stares past the hopeful orange and winks coquettishly at the yuzu. Don't tell Escoffier this, she says, but I'm feeling you.