New York aka French Food Paradise18-01-2019
New York is arguably America’s most French city, boasting a vast array of bistros, restaurants and other foodie destinations essentially concentrated around midtown, Upper East Side and West Village. And just steps away from the One World Observatory (One WTC), Le District is a vast and bustling 3000m2 marketplace delivering authentic French art de vivre. In the Big Apple, it’s restaurants a go-go.
Le district: a temple of French food
Since its grand opening two years ago, all the flavours of France have come together in one vast, covered market. The ultimate gastro-heaven unfurls before gourmet eyes across three distinct culinary-specific zones. In the Cafe District, Café patisserie and Café Gourmande sell irresistible French pastries, including old favourites such as croissants and pain au chocolat. The Garden District boasts a salad bar, fine grocery stores and even a florist, while in the Market District, a roll-call of French stalwarts, including a boulangerie, charcuterie-fromagerie, boucherie, bar à frites, traiteur, rôtisserie and poissonnerie, offer bread, cheese, meat and fish, and much more besides. And with your shopping in the bag, stop off at Beaubourg brasserie, or savour a spot of Michelin-starred gastro-finery at l’Appart. Francophiles will have a ball.
Cheese tasting extragavanza at the French Cheese Board
French cheese finds the ultimate New York flagship at French Cheese Board. In the heart of Nolita, this cheese emporium far surpasses your average French cheese store. And while cheese remains the focus of this collective experience, where hundreds of French regional specialities line shelves at the concept store, there is also a vibrant, cheese-themed, packed programme of events. Specialists including chefs, artists and galloping gourmets forge exciting connections with an audience of keen cheese enthusiasts, clamouring to take part in tasting workshops, cookery courses, talks and also wine and (wait for it…) cheese pairings.
Restaurants for every palate
Dozens of French restaurants in the Big Apple cater for every whim and palate. Love is in the air at La Ripaille, with its romantic, candle-lit ambiance, serving traditional cuisine in the heart of West Village. Leaning more towards bistro-style, La Buvette is right up there. This local establishment in Greenwich Village serves a tasty line-up of French classics, including savoury cheese tartinettes, croque monsieur, steak tartare and cassoulet, not forgetting a mighty fine petit dejeuner too. Still on the bistro-theme, Le Baratin is a small local restaurant with the added bonus of serving excellent homemade camembert burgers way into the wee hours (1am). Located in a part of the city renowned for its restaurant-vibe and modern cuisine, Grenouille seems to hale from another era. Its classic, stripped-back interior and fresh flowers posed on every table add a touch of style to this eating esablishment. The food is very refined and there is an extensive wine list too; the house chocolate soufflé is the talk of the town. French gastronomy goes forth and has multiplied in the Big Apple: at Le Gigot in West Village, New Yorkers are whisked away to the South of France with a menu of bouillabaisse, seafood and seasonal vegetables enhanced with Mediterranean flavours. And to complete our culinary tour on a more contemporary note, La Tartinery serves French classics such as foie gras, steak tartare, French cheese and the iconic Poilane bread, all re-imagined and combined with the likes of wasabi, resulting in 100% surprise, 100% inventive French fare.
Bateau Ivre wine bar
According to its owner, Bateau Ivre was New York’s first wine bar and for locals and critics, the charm of this bijou bar has certainly endured the test of time. Not exactly surprising given a vast array of more than 250 French wines served by the glass or bottle, typical bistro-fare, delicious brunches, wine tastings every evening from 6pm or live jazz on Sunday evenings. For New Yorkers, it’s a favourite haunt.
Patisserie and boulangeries everywhere
The greatest names in French patisserie all occupy prime locations in New York, but according to the vast majority of Francophiles, the finest patisserie in NYC has to be Mille-Feuille, serving the best macarons in town, while the coffee ain’t bad either. And if it is a boulangerie you are after, the choice is vast and more often than not really good. For great baguette, Maitre Keyser is a French classic famous the world over, where the sandwiches and other delicious pastries are also excellent. And for something slightly less well-known, why not try La Toulousaine, where everything is fresh and authentically French.