This week’s opening of L’Avenue at Saks, a lavish offshoot of a celebrity magnet in Paris, makes department-store dining feel like an extravagance. The ninth-floor restaurant, in ivory and beige by the designer Philippe Starck, has a varied menu: soups, salads (many with avocado) and dishes like vegan vegetable curry, tiger shrimp, crisp duck, rigatoni with morels, and Dover sole, some with an Asian accent.
The floor below is a lounge for cocktails and light bites like spring rolls, caviar and smoked salmon. It’s called Le Chalet, and looks as if it were transported directly from St. Moritz. Jean-Louis Costes, a partner in L’Avenue in Paris and one of the Costes brothers known for their hotels and restaurants, is behind this project, their first outside Paris. The famous pastry chef, Pierre Hermé, will fashion the desserts for the restaurant — including the Costes Crackers Cheesecake, Mr. Hermé’s beloved recipe — and run an enticing confection shop at its entrance. There, the temptations are macarons in flavors like lemon and salted caramel; boxed chocolates; beautifully adorned poundcakes and pastries that include a variation on vanilla; and Mr. Hermé’s signature specialty, Ispahan, with a combination of rose, litchi and raspberry. L’Avenue is open beyond store hours.
Pierre Hermé at L’Avenue at Saks Fifth Avenue, 8 East 50th Street, eighth and ninth floors, 212-940-4099, saks.com.