Editor’s Pick

$$$$ French


In a city deeply entrenched in a DIY ethos, chef-owner Tony Demes offers a beautiful break: small-scale, modern French fusion cooking circa 1990 in Midtown Manhattan. Tony Bennett rules the soundtrack. Chandeliers shoot bling across plush seats of marshmallow and chrome. At the three-seat bar, a gentleman vigorously shakes whatever you like. Jackson Pollock sauce-squiggles, cubist cuts of rare tuna, and towering soufflés—each a weightless joy of fluff in a golden crust—glide out of a kitchen staffed by white-jacketed men toiling with tweezers in utter silence. Each dish is meticulously arranged on ever-shifting plates of outsize scale holding tiny portions of contemporary food meant to feed your mind, not fill your gut. The mode is at once proper and impressionistic: an English tea party hosted by Alice in Wonderland. (The service is also a bit surreal, in a sweetly clueless way.) Half of the room has come to witness the evening-length tasting menu. But the à la carte options are a wicked indulgence, especially on a school night. 

Last updated: 01/28/2014