Bocuse Goes Downscale Atop Lyon Opera

Three-star chef and reluctant McDonald's spokesman Paul Bocuse is set to open a second restaurant in November in the gastronomic capital of the world, Lyon, France. The 60-seat restaurant, on the top floor of the famous 200-year-old Lyon Opera, has been designed to resemble a dining car on the Oriental Express. Bocuse, known as the father of nouvelle cuisine, plans to serve "inexpensive" meals--in French that means main courses will range from $30 to $60. If that seems high, dinner and wine at Bocuse's other Lyon restaurant costs about $200 per person.

Bocuse, who once declared that men belong in the professional kitchen and women belong in bed, also started a cooking and hotel school earlier this year in a chateau outside of Lyon. He plans to accept only 100 students per year (at $20,000 per student). The first class of Ecole des Arts Culinaires et de l'Hotellerie will graduate Thursday. How many of them are women? Stay tuned.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: As hungry diners were digging into avocado cocktails, lamb chops and finnan haddie at the busy Musso & Frank Saturday night, three fire trucks pulled up in front of the restaurant and the firemen jumped off and grabbed their ladders. Soon the men in red had the entire street cordoned off, and ordered everyone to vacate the smoky restaurant. One table that had just been served grabbed heaping plates of food to take with them.

Turns out it was just a grease fire in the front grill, and there was no damage to the restaurant--the flames were quickly extinguished. But no one was allowed back in the restaurant that evening--and, according to eyewitnesses, many left without paying their check.

"We didn't lose any money," says Musso & Frank owner Carissimi Maston. "People who ate paid."

DEPARTURES & ARRIVALS: Chef Kim Muller has departed Cafe Morpheus in Beverly Hills to open a restaurant in Santa Fe. Replacing Muller is French-trained Derek Healy, who last cooked at Sans Souci in Cleveland. . . . Christian and Babette Royere (they owned Babette's in Marina del Rey) have already left Trigo, the restaurant they opened two months ago in the old Red Car Grill space in West Hollywood. . . . Michael's Waterside in Santa Barbara has been sold (the space is now a catering company). Former chef/owner Michael Hutchings plans to consult, write a cookbook and travel. . . . Citrus manager Kora Gail has left Michel Richard's Melrose restaurant to devote time to Piece of Cake, a catering/event planning company. "I was asking for more money," says Gail, "but they couldn't give me what I wanted." Richard's wife, Laurence, will replace Gail.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Thirty-three years ago, Madame Sylvia Wu started her Santa Monica restaurant with $6,000. Today she owns the entire Wilshire Boulevard block where Madame Wu's is located. To celebrate, Wu's special Peking Duck (normally, customers order in advance) is on the menu for four nights beginning Monday.

OPENINGS: Louise's Trattoria is new in Studio City and still another branch opens soon in Brentwood. . . . A second Coley's Kitchen (the original is on Crenshaw) has opened in the former Pyramid space on La Cienega.

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