Calavados Buzz

By Margaret Kemp

Alert readers already know, from former BUZZ’s, that the only place in town for late dinner (upstairs) and to rock the night away (downstairs) is Black Calavados.  

The shiny black space, inspired Serge Gainsbourg’s ballard “On Va à Calavados ce Soir” was once the favourite haunt of Christian Dior, Rita Hayworth, Orson Wells, Eartha Kitt, Jacques Brel, Fellini,.  During renovations a sexy ceiling fresco circa 1780 was uncovered – they kept it – it looks great. 

What you may not know is that FeGH (Frederick e Grasser-Herme, Pierre’s ex) re-styled the menu, “it’s good sexy food, with rock ‘n’ roll attitude”, she says. 

Expect dishes from “FeGH the food agitator” unlike any others you know. “Call it “gourmet fast-food”, dishes come to the table for sharing, eating with your fingers, forks, whatever”, she grins. Of course the theme is shiny black lacquer, begin with a shared (two massive black patent straws) black cocktail, say Black Kiss, Black Caramel or Gateau Liquide which is champagne, vodka, fromage blanc sorbet and mini shortbreads blitzed to a froth. 

“It’s not easy to cook in black”, says FeGH whose recent cookbook, “Serial Colours” was packaged in a pot by uber-designer Matali Crasset. Black Vinyl is your aubergine starter. Follow with Dali’s soft noodles, “without the watch”, insists FeGH. Then mile long macaroni, cheese and black truffles,  food for hard- rocking the night away. Hommage to Manhattan, read, skyscraper leeks, blackberry vinaigrette. Square Eggs: oeuf mayo with rice crackers, dark black truffle pizza and the essential mini-lobster burgers.  

BC’s owners are Chris Cornell, singer/guitarist of cult band Soundgarden (his current band is Audioslave). Cornell makes no bones about the fact he once worked as a fishmonger for a Ballard seafood wholesaler in Seatlle. “I dreamed of opening a restaurant one day, but rock ‘n’ roll got in the way”, he says.   

Married to Vicky (a Paris based publicist) Cornell’s partners are Alexandre de Betak, who dreams up wacky sceneography for Dior and Galliano’s runway shows, what goes around comes around n’est pas? And Mr. DJ Nick Blast (Cornell’s brother-in-law) with Addy Baktior.  

“They blasted us in Figaroscope”, says FeGH. “But they’ve a right to their own opinions, it’s up to people to come and judge for themselves n’est pas?”

Apparently Sean Penn, Audrey Marnay, John Galliano, Natalia Vodianova and Co. adore the place. Paris Fashion Week is the time to go and gawp.  “Black old sun, black old sun won’t you come and wash away the rain”, goes Cornell’s riff.  See you there then babe. 

This week saw publication and “sold-out” of the first ever Michelin Guide,  Tokyo. A serious blow to French culinary self-esteem as Tokyo gets an amazing total of 191 stars, more than twice as many as Paris (91) easily out-shining both London (50) and NYC (49). What's even more surprising, considering how Franco-centric Michelin choices can be, is that two-thirds of Tokyo's newly star-spangled restaurants serve Japanese food. Of the eight Tokyo three-stars, five are Japanese.  Try getting a table, they're off the charts expensive and booked until years end – maybe a little breakfast darling! Or try

Score so far: Robuchon 17* – Ducasse 15* - Gordon Ramsay 12* 

If you've always wanted to eat in your favourite chef's kitchen check out through 3 December. If you can stand the heat Fooding Week is in full flow with the likes of Michel Roth (The Ritz) Frederick Anton (Pre Catalan),Flora Mikula, Christian Constant & Co. strutting their stuff. 

Address Book:


Black Calavados & Club Privé bc,

48 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie,

8th (Metro: George V)

T: 01 47 20 77

Open for dinner only

Shut Christmas and New Years Eve

Average spend from €70 to the sky’s the limit.

Menu des Fetes de fin d’Année – 140€ for 2 + wine





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