La Société serves up social cachet wrapped in sex appeal, and some decent French food, too (Image: Eugen Sakhnenko)
Four million dollars buys a lot of restaurant, even on Bloor Street, at the heart of the city’s richest retail mile. Charles Khabouth, the nightclub impresario behind La Société, the new, two-storey, 380-seat, more or less slavish recreation of a belle époque Paris bistro, brought in 29 tile workers, many of them from Montreal, to complete the spectacularly elaborate black, white and gold mosaic floors in the restaurant’s main bar and dining room. He and Alessandro Munge, of the Munge Leung design firm, commissioned a stained-glass ceiling for the bistro’s main space (which they’ve backlit, inexcusably, with sallow fluorescent lights), purchased their zinc bar top from France, outfitted the banquettes in brass and burgundy leather, and panelled the room in enough mahogany to deforest the best-endowed of banana republics. The rent, meantime, likely adds $2 million annually to Khabouth’s overhead. He’ll need to sell a lot of steak frites to cover that, but the man isn’t afraid to go big.
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