I have always longed to dine in such spaces that take us back to another era. In Montreal we have Eaton’s 9th floor restaurant, which is sadly off limits to the public, just waiting for someone with the imagination and funds to turn it into something truly spectacular. See http://david-toms.blogspot.com/search/label/Eatons
While visiting Australia in March this year, the opportunity to dine in such a space escaped me as I just ran out of time. Neil Perry of Rockpool fame opened his new Rockpool Bar and Grill in the City Mutual Building in Hunter Street Sydney.
The City Mutual Building is an incredibly fine example of Art Deco Architecture in Sydney, considered one of the finest in the country, and the transformation of the interior into the Rockpool is nothing short of fabulous.
The space is pure elegance and Art Deco fabulosity, framed under two-story marble columns with stained glass windows, all trimmed in dark wood panelling. This space recalls the almost shrine like atmosphere that reigned in the dining salons of the Normandie and Ile de France. The space is also a thrilling mix of art-deco savoir faire with sleek understated modernism, enhanced by the sculptural display of thousands of Reidel glasses.
One of the highlights definitely has to be the ceiling in the main space and the bas relief which copies the sculpture from the entrance of the building of a couple sheltering themselves from the ashes of Pompeii. (Rather apt as City Mutual was in the Insurance business).