Last week I had lunch in the private room upstairs at La Grenouille. I’ve dreamed of visiting this restaurant in all its storied elegance and beauty so that I might try their souffles, but in this age of boisterous, casual dining it’s difficult to commit to a formal meal in a place where you’re paying for an experience on the verge of extinction. I’m a downtown girl, I like eating at the bar, I like brasseries and bistros and cafes.
Which is exactly why this experience was so beautiful and served as a great reminder that we can’t let these kinds of restaurants go quietly into our dining history. High-end Manhattan restaurants face huge challenges to stay not just profitable but relevant in a culture that now can get high-end food in low-down places. My meal at La Grenouille (a pre-planned business luncheon) was rather simple, but well-executed, served with two lovely French wines by wonderfully professional, refined servers in a gorgeous room that invited calm.
La Grenouille, 3 E. 52nd St, New York. Visit their website for more info.