EPOCA by Emilie Bonaventure

March 9, 2018

EPOCA: At 17 Rue Oudinot, hidden away amongst the Parisian bustle of the 7th arrondissement, there is an exceptional Art Nouveau building that is now home to Denny Imbroisi’s latest restaurant. EPOCA seats 55 and was formed through a partnership with Michael Memmi and a collaboration with Emilie Bonaventure, the talent behind Frenchie in London’s Covent Garden.

EPOCA is a vibrant and welcoming space in which lunch, dinner, or even just an aperitivo becomes an authentic escape to Italy! It is here that
Denny Imbroisi was able to finally create the traditional and regional Italian recipes that so define his culinary philosophy. As it was Emilie Bonaventure’s first Italian-inspired project, she sought to design an interior that had a unique personality; whilst also drawing inspiration from both the features typical to a Parisian bistro, and from Milanese design’s emphasis on warmth and function in a colourful and graphic style.

In this space, Emilie’s focus on the precision of design comes to the fore through the presence of geometric shapes in black and yellow, accompanied by modernist influences. Unusual yet effective, the key focal point of all of Emilie’s graphic designs is the floor mosaic. Emilie is at her most compelling when it comes to her unparalleled understanding of colour.

In EPOCA, she uses saturated tones in ochre, mustard and bronze. Black and white is used throughout the space, with the striped wallpaper giving a “cinemascope” depth to the room, which is then enlarged through the tactical use of mirrors.

In keeping with the historical resonance of the building, Emilie Bonaventure chose a marble bar, however, she exerted a distinctive individuality over the space through veins running throughout the stone and up to the bases of the lights. Another reference to Art Deco is in the seating designs, which revitalise the traditional Thornet style with velvet booths.

Emilie’s style is defined by the close attention that she gives to the invisible details, such as the nail fastenings on the backs of chairs; the brass keys of a stool’s footrest; and even the feet of the table lights, all interspersed with some contemporary photos. Equally passionate about ancient and contemporary objects, Emilie sets a scene for the vintage features of the space, such as the suspensions and sconces. The lights in chromed metal, stainless steel or aluminium interact dramatically with the brass features.

For the tableware, Emilie herself designed the black lacquered wooden table tops, and then chose earthenware plates with black edges that
perfectly echo the spirit of EPOCA. As a quirk against too much formality, she then added cutlery and accessories in aluminium. EPOCA will be Emilie’s second address in the Left Bank, a mere few hundred metres from her first, the Rose Bakery tearoom at the Bon Marché, which she designed in 2013.

About Denny Imbroisi & Micaël Memmi:  This is owner and chef Denny Imbroisi’s second restaurant in Paris after IDA, an Italian-style restaurant in the 15th arrondissement. IDA proved his commitment to serving hearty and delicious food using seasonal produce in unusual combinations and vibrant colours. He crafted his culinary skills in the famous San Domenico and Corrado Fasolato restaurants. The turning point in his career came after the Top Chef TV show, after which he gained deep insights into the culinary world whilst working alongside William Ledeuil before joining Alain Ducasse’s team at the Jules Verne as sous chef.

Micaël is a serious foodie who left his job as a grain trader to become a restauranteur in 1997. He has opened several eateries, including Le Zo
in 1998, a concept restaurant that fused Japanese and French cuisine with an Italian touch. In 2003 he launched Il Caffé in Paris, which has
grown into a famous Italian restaurant chain, serving dishes that are made in the kitchen, then delivered to five retail outlets in the French capital.

In October 2016 he met Denny at the Joël Thiebault stand in the President Wilson market. As Micaël had had dinner at his beloved Ida on
several occasions, and Denny often lunched at Le Zo, their friendship blossomed and the idea of opening Epoca was born.

“It’s a real opportunity to be able to carry on exploring my roots and the legacy that has made me who I am today; the spirit of the Left Bank lends itself perfectly to my values. I keep coming back to the dream of a literary and fashion intelligentsia so the desire to welcome lost icons is a definite part of the atmosphere.” Emilie Bonaventure.

Project Name: EPOCA

Project location:  17 Rue Oudinot, Paris

Designer:  Emilie Bonaventure

Client:  Denny Imbroisi  (owner) &

Micaël Memmi (co-partner)

 photographer: Nicolas Mathéus

Instagram: @emiliebonaventure

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