French

Rotisserie Georgette

Ah... Rotisserie Georgette, now serving Sunday brunch.  A beautiful wooden bar welcomes you in from the cold and you are tempted to sit and warm up with a bourbon or a smokey Bloody Mary.  A plump pickled shrimp helps offset some of that smokiness.

The dining room beckons with similar warmth from what appears to be a fire in the semi open kitchen and muted browns framed by random antique mirrors and wall length tapestries.  

Poulet Rôti

Poulet Rôti

Waiters in their leather aprons looking like butchers take care of you and provide you with heart warming food. Nothing to fancy or fussy, solid good food.  

The signature Rotisserie Chicken served as a half chicken with a half roasted garlic, fries and mixed greens.  The skin was crispy and topped with herbs, the meat both white and dark was moist and juicy.  In other words, perfect.

Classic Eggs Benedict comes with your choice of eggs on top of thick cut bacon, bresola or smoked salon.  The hollandaise was one of the best I ever had, not too thick and with a nice lemony taste to it.  The thick cut bacon was almost ham-like and delicious. 

Les Jaunes with thick cut bacon

Les Jaunes with thick cut bacon

Round out your meal with Georgette's house-made granola.  So tasty with multiple types of nuts and sweetened with maple.  This is served with non-fat yogurt and a blackberry compte parfait style.

Georgette herself warmly greets every table and makes a connection with all of her guests.  This is her baby and she has every right to be proud of what she has created.  Do yourself a favor and keep this gem in mind for lunch, dinner and now Sunday brunch. 

G's Nutty Maple Granola

G's Nutty Maple Granola

 

Vaucluse, upscale French in NYC

from www.petroneontherocks.com

from www.petroneontherocks.com

I remember when I first moved to NYC some years ago all the "upscale" restaurants were French.  In fact the first really nice restaurant I ever went to was Le Cirque when it was still in the New York Palace Hotel.  It was like a whole new world that I felt I was intruding upon.  The experience was enlightening, both food and service.  Since then I have slowly seen the decline of the "upscale" French restaurants with more and more "approachable" restaurants becoming the norm.  I think it's great that there are these restaurants but sometimes you want to go to a special, upscale restaurant.

The recently opened Vaucluse is a very nice mix of of both to me.  The service and the food were definitely of the "upscale" camp and yet everything felt approachable as soon as I walked in the door.  Located in the former Park Avenue Cafe space, Vaucluse is Chef Michael White's first French restaurant in NYC.  Chef White has made a name for himself at Italian mainstays like Marea, Ai Fiori, Ristorante Morini and the former Costata.  The space has two beautiful dining rooms and one bar area.  The bar area is great if you do not want to do a blow out meal, there is even a "White Label" burger on the menu.  The dining rooms have clean lines and are well lit, but really, let's get to the food.

Two large stalks of tender white asparagus came with bits of smoked salmon in an inspiring dish.  The ravioli with two pockets one for the rabbit and one for the reblochon cheese were like perfect pillows of ambrosial decadance.  But the Pièce De Résistance has to be the Canard á l'Orange, roasted duck for two.  They do a special aging on site and it is served with charred supremes of orange.  The meat is so tender and is covered with a  perfect layer of flavor (fat) and topped with a perfectly crisped skin.  This might be a perfect dish both flavor and texture-wise.  Enjoyed with a Pinot from Oregon I was in heaven.

VAUCLUSE

 

Dinner at élan

Well known chef David Waltauk has returned to the New York City dining scene after an absence since the closing of the legendary Chantarelle.  This nice but casual restaurant features a large bar as you walk in that you can dine at or continue past to the main room.  Muted colors and a fresh paint smell swathed the comfy and intimate dining room.  Service was very on point, friendly and informative.  The food can be described as contemporary with French technique.

The menu is divided into Starters, Appetizers and Main Courses.  The Sea Urchin Guacamole also contains foie gras, wasabi and is topped with fish roe.  It is a mad genius or perhaps a stoned party boy with nothing else left in the fridge that thinks to combine these ingredients to great effect.  The accompanying lotus root chips were fantastically crispy and a perfect vessel for the chunky and luxurious dip.

The Chilled Watercress Soup with smoky bits of arctic char was refreshing and the crisped skin of the fish was like an arctic char chicharron.  I would love to have a bag of these, perhaps the charcharron?

The General Tso's Sweetbreads to me were just ok.  I read that this was a holdover from the Chantarelle days so I was looking forward to this dish.  The sauce was tasty and distinctly of the take-out flavor but I guess I would have like to see more texture in the sweetbreads themselves.  The Duck Breast with the Smoky Jus on the other hand was perfectly cooked and seasoned.  I literally wanted to lick the smokey jus off my plate.  This is a duck I would get again and again.   Slightly bitter Snow Pea Leaves sauteed with garlic was reminiscent of the more popular spinach done the same way and a nice side dish.  

élan has a nice start and I would like to re-visit it down the road since it was still in it's first week.  I can definitely see myself grabbing something to eat at the bar and having a beer.  Perhaps some oysters.  For now it is a good option if you happen to be in the area  or are looking to try something new in the city.

élan