French Art Deco meets quintessential Palm Beach style... but with a fresh, vibrant take by NYC-based interior designer David Lucido.
photos: Ori Harpaz
Tucked away at the back of one of boujee Worth Avenue's enchanting "vias" (aptly-named Via Encantada), the highly anticipated Palm Beach iteration of Le Bilboquet - already a favorite of A-listers and Manhattanites who frequent the restaurant's Upper East Side flagship - officially opened last month. Aside from getting a taste of Le Bilboquet's extraordinary fine cuisine, Palm Beachers are getting to experience the sophisticated and stunning work of interior designer David Lucido up close & personal, and as a result, Lucido hasn't been able to make his way back to the Big Apple. Why? Because now, local residents are clamoring to have him do their private estates.
Lucido in his NYC studio
Woven café chairs handcrafted by the prestigious French design house Maison Gatti are a constant design element of all Le Bilboquet locations. Lucido had them done in yellow and navy to honor the sun and sky in a non-trite way.
Alfresco dining takes place in a magical setting where potted palms enhance the tropical vibe, and climbing jasmine ivy literally brings the walls to life. On either side, minimalist plaster staircases boast sinuous curves and are adorned with bright yellow tile to perpetuate the sunshine-y palette. "You see a lot of this type of tile treatment along Worth Avenue, so I decided to follow that theme," says Lucido.
The indoor dining room is equally sundrenched, but here, the designer introduces a French Art Deco-inspired aesthetic. The walls are Ravello marble-clad, while natural woods are used with intent; they're meant to patina and age gracefully with the passing of time. Curved loveseats that accommodate up to three guests each are upholstered in delicious velvet, the colorway a muted buttery yellow that Lucido selected to achieve his desired "vintage, washed, and sun-faded" feel. "I didn't want the restaurant to look brand spanking new," he explains. The dining chairs replicate a style created by the legendary French architect/designer Paul Dupret-Lafon, noted for his work in the 1920s and '30s with the luxury House of Hermès.
The centerpiece of the dining room and also the first thing one sees upon entering, the bar features a brushed pewter top fabricated in France, contrasted by a gleaming beer tap finished in polished nickel. According to Lucido, the dramatic, oversized curved pilasters "create a scale moment," and, like the ribbed glass accents above them, stay true to art deco form.
Wrapping the outskirts of the dining room are tufted banquettes where Lucido has shifted the palette, transitioning to a petrol blue - a nod to the nearby ocean. A similar hue appears in the geometrics of the terrazzo flooring. "The floor is based on art deco rug design, which typically uses graphic shapes. You get snippets of the overall pattern when you're seated, but it's subtle," states Lucido, adding: "Subtlety was key in many of my design choices here."
The overhead lighting - a pivotal element in any interior design (restaurants included) furthers the French Art Deco aesthetic. The custom nickel-plated ceiling fixtures are inspired by an early 20th century deco chandelier.
A common denominator among all the Le Bilboquet locations Lucido designed (there are also ones in Sag Harbor, Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver) is French influences, but he deliberately tailors each one to its specific locale. "Here in Palm Beach, I had a crash course with (investor and longtime Palm Beach resident) Jane Holzer, who took me around the hotspots and pointed out the architecturally significant features to take note of," recounts Lucido. "But I didn't want to dig too deeply into the history books; instead, I wanted to give it a fresh spin."
And that he has.
For more information and/or reservations, visit: lebilboquetpb.com
To learn more about David Lucido, visit: davidlucido.com