It’s no coincidence that Lisa Vanderpump’s recent series for E! was called “Overserved With Lisa Vanderpump”. His brand is excessive, and the “Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum has channeled his inner Francophile, then some for his new Vanderpump restaurant in Paris at the Paris Las Vegas resort. Last week, the restaurant had its grand opening with what Vanderpump says were some of his favorite things in attendance – scantily-clad men and rescue poodles who celebrated against the backdrop of a rose-lit Eiffel Tower.
For the extravagant interior, Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd, who have opened 35 restaurants and bars over the years, worked with designer Nick Alain. Alain, who also designed their Tom Tom cocktail bar in West Hollywood, incorporated chandeliers into wrought-iron cages, marble countertops and large windows overlooking the fantasy version of the Eiffel Tower.
Vanderpump says it was “go big or go home” as far as design goes, which they dubbed “romantic industrial”.
It’s their second Vegas spot at a Caesars Entertainment venue, following the opening of the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace in 2019. For Vanderpump a Paris, the duo pulled out all the stops, crafting a range of special pieces in the factory where Alain’s Vanderpump furniture and decor line is created (for $2,239 you can own a Duomo outdoor chandelier similar to those in the restaurant).
“It’s been a long process through the pandemic,” admits Vanderpump, whose past few months have been hectic to say the least. In February, she broke her leg in several places in a riding accident and was still on crutches during the final stages of construction. It was right after a bout of COVID, and in November she welcomed a new grandson.
“It’s a very different process to working with a partner,” she says. “We have done everything, everything is bespoke and manufactured in our factory. It makes you feel like you are immersed in Paris.
Alain, who is known for his industrial-style designs, says the restaurant reflects all eras of Parisian architecture. “When you visit Paris you are exposed to art nouveau, gothic, art deco.” He says Vanderpump’s “go big” attitude reminds him of a former client – Gianni Versace. “What she brings is phenomenal. I’ve worked with Versace, helped him do his mansion, he always wanted more – that’s what I get from Lisa. It’s all a mutual decision.
Alain says some of his favorite pieces are the whimsical chandeliers topped with umbrellas that hang above tables, while Vanderpump chooses the massive pots that hold entire trees atop cage-like brackets over the bar. “They’re way too big,” she happily admits. “I like the unpredictability – a huge bathtub full of flowers, umbrellas above the bar where it’s raining behind the windows, with French music…it’s very unique.”
“I’m an aesthete,” says the actress turned restaurateur turned reality TV star. “I love restaurants, I love design. All visuals are very important to me. She points to the restaurant’s “beautiful velvet, crystal, curio cabinets full of antiques” as some of the elements that help complete the lush and lavish surroundings.
As for the food, although Vanderpump has lived in France, she says, “It’s not your typical French bistro. She knows that tourists who frequent Paris might not be in the mood for snails and foie gras, so she says, “We wanted to bring Paris to Vegas and Vegas to Paris. Dishes are delicious and shareable, colorful and visual, she promises, including tempura-fried ratatouille and a selection of cheeses served in an aviary rather than on a board. Other dishes blend familiar presentations with a Gallic twist, like French onion mac and cheese and pâté au coq au vin.
“We have a great understanding of what the Vegas crowd wants. It feels like you’re going somewhere special,” she says.
The cocktails are as exuberant as Vanderpump herself. There’s his favorite, the French Poodle, which incorporates gin, “cupcake cotton candy” and gold flakes; Louvre at First Sight, in which a mezcal drink is served under a pyramid, with hickory smoke billowing under the glass; and LoveLocked, a cocktail for two accompanied by a padlock that can be initialed and fixed to the wall, like in Paris — “They want an experience,” she explains.
Although she says her next restaurant project will likely be “the complete opposite of that,” for now she’s busy with a book release, TV projects and more. But first, a vacation, then she’s ready to “go right back to the next project.” We are reviewing it. We get a lot of offers,” she teases.