While it often cedes the spotlight to nearby Amsterdam, design surprises are hardly in short order among the ports of Rotterdam. The newest opening in this charming, unassuming city, is Héroine Restaurant and Bar, an addition to Het Industriegebouw (The Industrial Building), an eminent post-war era building reclaiming its original grandeur by playing host to a variety of dining and retail concepts.

With an expansive high-ceilinged space serving as their canvas, the team at Modiste Studio opted to show reverence to the original design of the building (a modernist creation of the late Dutch architects Hugh Maaskant and Willem van Tijen) by leaving its raw elements as focal points. Smooth concrete floors and wrap-around wooden paneling bask in ample natural light drawn in by dramatic metal-framed windows. A polished oak bar and chrome-accented furniture inspired by the late American interior designer Warren Platner add a striking sense of 1970’s opulence and glamour.

The backdrop and surroundings now set, guests are can choose between a four, five, or seven-course meal inspired by celebrated wines and decadent cuisine from around the world. Led by chef Michael Schook and sommelier Fred de Neef, the menu rotates often and is never publicly listed. However, previous guests have indulged in dishes such as smoked celeriac with egg yolk and pine nut tapenade, or tostadas with chicatanas and avocado. 

This element of secrecy behind the ever-changing menu items is part of the culinary experience at Héroine, something owner and restauranteur Eva Eekman certainly intended.