Monarchs ate Ore is royalty restaurant.In his 30-year career, chef Alain Ducasse has amassed 18 Michelin stars and a worldwide restaurant empire. One of his latest is fittingly inside the Château de Versailles, called Ore, it was a form of architectural royalty that brought the new restaurant to fruition: Dominique Perrault.
The basic structure of the renovation was already in place when Ducasse came on board to the 8,900-square-foot restaurant piece of the project. Once he did, he was instantly involved in revising the layout: back-of-the-house plans were enlarged, adding state-of-the art kitchens upstairs and prep kitchens and a wine cellar underground. “Ducasse was ingenious,” Perrault notes.
Ore is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and tea; at night, it becomes Ducasse au Château de Versailles, serving dinner only by special request.
The restaurant’s name, it refers to oris, specifically to the long-ago royal cooks and kitchens that fed Versailles. But the wordplay with gold ore works equally well in the gilded realm of Versailles, where even the rooftop is plated with gold leaf. As such, materials like brass and aluminum, often with golden finishes, appear throughout the establishment. That’s the work of Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost, DPA’s art director and Ore’s interior design lead. Metal is her specialty, including metal mesh and metallic cloth, both used here. Each finish, she says, “catches the light, and conducts it in a different way, giving a vibrant texture.”
Brushed brass discs that radiate with LED rods, they derive, she notes, from fraises, the starched circular collars worn in 16th-century Europe. For seating, she looked to today: Slim armchairs upholstered in champagne, burgundy, or dove-gray leather .
In the bar area, floor-to-ceiling vitrines display Ducasse’s antique dinnerware collection. Nearby hangs the 1722 painting Nature Morte au Buste de l’Amérique .
An older oil by Hyacinthe Rigaud inspired the bar’s batonlike pendant fixtures. They’re modeled after the actual commander’s baton brandished by Louis XIV’s eldest son in the famous 17th-century portrait,Le Grand Dauphin.
A truly inspired place to visit.