It’s no coincidence Lisa Vanderpump’s recent series for E! was called “Overserved With Lisa Vanderpump.” Her brand is excess, and the “Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum has channeled her inner Francophile and then some for her new Vanderpump à Paris restaurant at the Paris Las Vegas resort. Last week, the restaurant had its grand opening with what Vanderpump says are some of her favorite things in attendance — scantily-clad men and rescue poodles who celebrated against the backdrop of a pink-lit Eiffel tower.
For the extravagant interior, Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd, who have opened 35 restaurants and bars over the years, worked with designer Nick Alain. Alain, who also designed their West Hollywood cocktail bar Tom Tom, incorporated chandeliers in wrought iron cages, marble counters and large windows looking out onto the resort’s fantasy version of the Eiffel Tower.
Vanderpump says it was “go big or go home” when it came to the design, which they’ve dubbed “romantic industrial.”
It’s her second Vegas spot in a Caesars Entertainment venue, after Vanderpump Cocktail Garden opened at Caesars Palace in 2019. For Vanderpump a Paris, the pair pulled out all the stops, fabricating an array of special pieces in the factory where the Vanderpump Alain furniture and decor line is created (for $2,239, you can own a Duomo outdoor chandelier similar to those in the restaurant).
“It’s been a long process through the pandemic,” admits Vanderpump, whose past few months have been eventful, to say the least. In February, she broke her leg in multiple places in a horseback riding accident, and was still on crutches through the final stages of construction. That was right after a bout of COVID, and in November, she welcomed a new grandson.
“It’s a very different process working with a partner,” she says. “We went all out, everything is bespoke and made in our factory. It makes you feel that you’re immersed in Paris.”
Alain, who is known for his industrial-style designs, says the restaurant reflects all the eras of architecture in Paris. “When you visit Paris, you’re exposed to art nouveau, gothic, art deco.” He says Vanderpump’s “go big” attitude reminds him of a former client — Gianni Versace. “What she brings is phenomenal. I worked with Versace, I helped him do his mansion, he always wanted more — that’s what I get from Lisa. Everything is a mutual decision.”
Alain says some of his favorite pieces are the fanciful umbrella topped-chandeliers that hang over the tables, while Vanderpump picks the massive pots that hold entire trees atop cage-like stands on the bar. “They’re way too big,” she admits happily. “I like unpredictability — a huge bathtub full of flowers, umbrellas over the bar where it’s raining behind the windows, with the French music…it feels very unique.”
“I’m an aesthete,” says the actress-turned-restaurateur-turned-reality star. “I love restaurants, I love design. All the visuals are very important to me.” She points out the restaurant’s “beautiful velvet, the crystal, curio cabinets full of antiques” as some of the elements that help complete the lush and lavish surroundings.
As for the food, although Vanderpump has lived in France, she says, “It’s not a typical French bistro.” She knows the tourists who frequent the Paris might not be in the mood for snails and foie gras, so she says, “We wanted to bring Paris to Vegas and Vegas to Paris.” The dishes are delicious and shareable, colorful and visual, she promises, including ratatouille that’s fried tempura-style and a selection of cheeses served in a birdcage instead of on a board. Other dishes blend familiar presentations with Gallic flair, like French onion mac ‘n cheese and coq au vin pot pie.
“We have a great understanding of what the Vegas crowd wants. You feel like you’re going somewhere special,” she says.
The cocktails are as exuberant as Vanderpump herself. There’s her favorite, the French Poodle, which incorporates gin, “cupcake cotton candy” and gold flakes; Louvre at First Sight, in which a mezcal drink is served under a pyramid, with hickory smoke wafting under the glass; and LoveLocked, a cocktail for two complete with a padlock that can be initialed and attached to a wall, just like in Paris — “They want an experience,” she explains.
Though she says her next restaurant project will probably be “the complete opposite of this,” for now she’s busy with a book coming out, TV projects and much more. But first, a vacation, and then she’s ready to “jump right back into the next project. We’re looking at it. We get a lot of offers,” she teases.