By Raychel Ria C. Agramon

Right in the middle of Makati’s concrete jungle is a trendy restaurant known for its all-organic menu and visually appealing art: the Lumiere Bistro and Art Gallery. Named after the French word for “light,” the restaurant boasts of a Southern France-inspired menu, and dining under skylights that give brightness during the day and luminescence at night.
Three years ago, owners Susan Roxas and Baby Imperial established the bistro cum art gallery at the podium level of LV Locsin Bldg. along Makati Avenue. Both are devoted art fanatics.
Since then, Lumiere has gained accolades and loyal patrons such as former Senator Loren Legarda, broadcaster Korina Sanchez and actress Pinky Amador.
Now, the relatively young restaurant-art gallery has blossomed into the perfect place for dates or hangouts, with its appealing art and delicious French cuisine.

Lumiere takes pride in using no synthetic seasoning in its food.
“All the food we serve are organic. We only use salt and pepper, no fish sauce, no synthetic chicken cubes,” said Minda Quisay, Lumiere receptionist.
Despite the strictly organic kitchen policy, dishes such as Rotie de Porc à la moutarde de Dijon, gratins de pomme de terre, radis et camote, a main dish of roast pork in Dijon mustard served with three root vegetables gratin, prove to be very flavorful, with the sauce perfectly complementing the succulent pork and vegetable sides.
Adding spice to the usual tater fare is Pommes frittes, an appetizer of fried natural cubed potatoes seasoned with herbs and served with a mayo dip.
And who says desserts are sinful? Gâteau au chocolat, Crème anglaise, a flourless chocolate cake on cream custard sauce, takes one to gastronomic heaven. The flavor hints at dark cocoa, and the texture is very smooth. The rich, dark delight should satisfy health-conscious chocoholics, as recent studies have proved that cocoa found in dark chocolate has benefits for the cardiovascular system. Studies have it that dark chocolate helps relax blood vessels and helps prevent cholesterol from building up eventually reducing the risk of blood clots.
Other regional specialties, as with the culinary marvels of Southern France, include Niçoise, an entrée or main dish of tomatoes, green bell pepper, radish, hard boiled eggs, black olives and tuna; and Cassoulet eivec salade verte, a main dish composed of white bean steeped in stew, with duck confit, duck sausage, and bacon served with green salad.
Main dish prices range from P350 for a Poulet Froid Avec Taboulé, which is cold chicken with taboulé, to P700 for a Couscous Royale, a lamb shoulder with half a leg of chicken and merguez sausage, vegetables, soup and harissa.
As soon as you enter Lumiere, you are taken into a trance by the beautiful visual arts. Last April 22, artist Frank Callaghan launched his 15-piece photo exhibit, “Empty Space.” The exhibit was all about random events in the metro.
Besides its culinary and art marvels, Lumiere whisks its customers away from the urban bedlam of Makati with its calming white-themed design and soothing acoustics. The stylish restaurant plays soft samba music for the right eating mood. That’s not even mentioning the excellent service from its attentive employees. The cozy place seats approximately 30 inside, and about 10 outside (for smoking customers). One (and so far the only) downside is the fact that the bistro’s flooring is drab, slippery, and cracked.
The posh restaurant is also a Wi-fi Internet hotspot, ideal for laptop-toting customers.
You don’t need to go to Paris whenever you’re aching for a fix of French fare. Lumiere guarantees its patrons deliciously natural food and noticeably fresh media right in the heart of the metro’s business district.