Back-lighting (Contre Jour means 'back lit') gives the place a glamorous feel reminiscent of Cecil Beaton photos and Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers movies although the ambiance is resolutely contemporary, without the faintest hint of retro.
The Chesner 'mix' found favour: when it opened in November 2002, Contre Jour was the place everybody wanted to go to, particularly affluent expats.
Chesner's love of theatre, cooking and music found ample room for expression on the Contre Jour stage.
But along with the fun parts of the exploit, two-and-a-half years on and Chesner's alacrity, on the marketing front is in part due to the need to reach cruising speed now that Contre Jour is no longer a novelty.
He pops into the top hotels and seeks out the concierge to personally offer him dinner tot two, on the house, so that he will be in a position to describe and recommend Contre Jour to hotel guests.
He talks of introducing company breakfasts, afternoon tea, buying what would be needed for kosher catering so he can open Contre Jour up to the Bar Mitzvah market.
He has been approached about opening a London branch of Contre Jour, he says; there are other irons in the fire as well.
She is photographed contre jour
, rather than against the night, but the windows behind her are masked, and the light from them is altered and partially obscured by blocks of cyan caused by the overlaying of the image's negative on itself.