Food, Drink & Health

The Opera Restaurant – A Grotto Full of Light

Interior of Opera Restaurant - Palais GarnierThe 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

Exterior view of Opera Restaurant - Palais Garnier - outdoor plazaMezzanine level of Opera Restaurant - Palais Garnier

Opera Restaurant Bar and Restaurant






View from the mezzanine level of Opera Restaurant - Palais Garnier

Interior of Opera Restaurant - Palais Garnier - Apple Store across the street

Vaulted decoration in Opera Restaurant - Palais Garnier








© 2011
Your HOTEL and APARTMENT RESERVATION is a contribution to maintenance costs of my BLOG, WEBSITE and NEWSLETTER. Using GOOGLE helps, too. THANKS!

Paris apartments

This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!