We gasped in shock when Julien Royer, chef at French fine dining temple JAAN (of San Pellegrino fame), left to work with the Lo & Behold Group on a fine dining place at the National Gallery. After what’s felt like a long wait, Odette finally has opened its doors, offering a reservations-only soft-launch experience for lunch ($88) and dinner ($208).
The restaurant concept tells a well-worn, rustic story: amazingly sourced seasonal ingredients, recipes inspired by a bucolic French childhood, et cetera, but the execution has precious gastronomic touches in line with Royer’s previous work. We have high hopes for the menu, which will change often, we’re told. Currently available is the North Highlands beef tartare with pickled kohlrabi, grain mustard ice cream and smoked bone marrow; a very sculptural Japanese flounder; and a miso trout with charcoal grilled Kurobuta pork belly and romanesco with yuzu.
Decor wise, it’s fairytale whimsy given the elegant, understated treatment: a white and beige palette with starched tableclothes, brass pendant lamps and a tile-and-chrome open kitchen.