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Ou Sont Les Neiges? The Upper Middle (French and other)


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#1 Wilfrid

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 11:53 PM

I guess I am not breaking news here, but I was looking around for classic French below the four star level, and really there’s only Le Coucou. With La Grenouille closed for the summer, every last one has gone, including hotel dining rooms. Am I forgetting somewhere?

There’s the lounge at Gabriel Kreuther, which is borderline French in cuisine; the dining room’s entry price is higher than Daniel. I guess The Modern, which might hold itself just below four star price because no tipping.

Restaurant Carlyle still has the style, but the food is American (cf River Cafe).

Okay, Cafe Boulud. Nomad, borderline, French techniques.

We’ve had openings in this category the last few years, and they closed.

Expanding the discussion, Atherton is still at The Clocktower, but the menu now looks all-American, whatever the website says about British classics updated.

#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 11:55 PM

Okay, Batard.

What’s the ambience like these days?

ETA: Far from busy, wide open reservations. It’s August I guess.

#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:17 AM

That sector is effectively dead.
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#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:19 AM

That’s why openings like Benno and that new Times Square John Fraser place (neither of which serves the type of food you mean) are treated as such anomalies.
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#5 Neocon maudit

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:17 AM

Whenever I dine at Frenchette, I pass by Bâtard and wonder if I should give it another chance. And, jah, tables always seem available online.

 

Sometimes I wonder if there was some way Chevalier could have worked...

 

Edited: do we want Liebrandt to come back in this sector, or some place in the higher bracket?



#6 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:34 AM

Will Liebrandt or Dufresne (or indeed Santos) ever come back to running restaurants at all?

#7 The Flon

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:55 AM

I just noticed that Chez Napoleon still exists in hells kitchen. Haven't been in 20 years since I lived in that area. Booked a table for next Friday. By no means the level you're referring to but the reservationist on the phone (yes the phone, no online bookings)spoke French.
And that made me excited.

#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 03:48 AM

Not at all what Wilf means, though.

 

ETA:  Oh you said so.  Oooops.


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#9 Orik

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:12 AM

Probably the category most impacted by wages and rents. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#10 Seth Gordon

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:17 AM

Le Jardinier, maybe? Haven’t been yet, but prices are slightly below the Le Coucou range. (Shun, the more formal/pricey sister restaurant looks possibly interesting as well, if slightly dated.)

#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:18 AM

I've actually heard great things about Shun (although not about Le Jardinier).


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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:28 AM

Le Jardinier is sort of the kind of restaurant Wilf is talking about, though.


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#13 small h

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 11:02 AM

La Mirabelle, maybe, although it may be too far below four star to be of interest.

#14 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:38 PM

What I totally overlooked is the sub-category which does still exist, the UES snobspots: La Goulue, Le Bilboquet, etc.

Hadn’t looked at Le Jardinier.

#15 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:44 PM

I was going to comment on the way these kinds of dining rooms have even been banished from hotels like the Waldorf. Even the Ritz-Carlton now has an all-day casual small-plates restaurant.

Then I saw the Pierre has something called La Perrine, which I’ve never heard of. Like the Carlyle, though, the menu is more American than the name. But there’s confit de canard a l’orange and cow au vin as daily specials.