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In New York, the awakening of French restaurateurs

2021-04-08T06:10:36.509Z

POSTAL CARD - Epicenter of Covid-19 last year, restaurants can now and thanks to the vaccine, fill their rooms again. With a lot of energy, the French are doing well.



A spring morning was enough.

Around the skyscrapers, under the azure blue sky of New York, the one who saw the towers fall on September 11 almost 20 years ago, the same, immense, who evoked the great outdoors of the West, the one who since the pandemic seemed veiled, men and women are busy today, life is resuming.

At the worst of the pandemic, a ghost town, empty avenues, iron curtains in front of many shops and restaurants, had replaced the

Big Apple

of our dreams (we are talking about 5,000 missing restaurants), but thanks to a massive vaccination campaign, this month April is the beginning of renewal.

To discover

  • United States: the Figaro travel guide

  • New York: the Figaro travel guide

For months, some restaurants have been able to take advantage of a street corner or a sidewalk to set up tables and chairs, protected from the elements by improbable barracks that range from the plastic greenhouse to the Deauville 1920-style beach cabin, or even at the “Indonesian chalet”.

Recently reopened at 50%, the rooms finally welcome customers hungry for conviviality.

Le Figaro

went to meet French chefs in Manhattan.

Near Central Park, looks south

We fought all year

,” says restaurateur

Yann N'Diaye

, co-owner of

Moulin à Café

across from the Lycée Français on the Upper East Side.

Result: 2020 beat the numbers of 2019!

“As soon as possible, we got tables and chairs out onto the sidewalk, and then the deliveries exploded.

"

In this confined residential area, the establishment served as a community center and, a great novelty,"

New Yorkers have discovered the sidewalks!

".

If in the past, the noise, the heat or the smells of the city annoyed, today the inhabitants have taken a liking to it and terraces are popping up everywhere.

Based near Central Park, Michelin-starred chef

Daniel Boulud

launched DB Kitchen, which delivers and sells take-out meals.

With his architect Stéphanie Goto, he reviewed the sumptuous dining room of Daniel, his gourmet restaurant.

Thanks to partners such as the Maison Hermès (for the wallpaper) and Lavazza, he created “

Boulud-sur-Mer”

, an ephemeral concept to “

take New Yorkers on vacation to the south of France

 ”.

But it was above all the seventeen magnificent beach huts, 1920s style, that attracted customers.

Soundproofed, heated and covered with striped fabrics, they were built on the sidewalk that runs alongside the restaurant.

This year also promises something new: “

At One Vanderbilt, the new office tower where we will soon be opening

Le Pavillon

, our new restaurant

,” says the chef, “

everything is open, people can no longer stay at home

.

".

At the Pavilion, a tribute to the restaurant of the same name which reigned over Manhattan from 1941 to 1972, Daniel Boulud will focus on fish, shellfish and vegetables from the region.

"We were creative so as not to sink"

Down town, in Nolita, chef

Cédric Vongerichten

greets customers in his Indonesian restaurant Wayan.

For the first time in my life in April 2020, I was scared in Manhattan

,” he says, “

but since February, the neighborhood has been vibrating again

.

With the sun, a tent replaced the Indonesian winter cottage, and the street became pedestrianized.

New: the possibility of having cocktails delivered.

This energy reminds me of the French Riviera,

 ” says Mr. Vongerichten, who will prepare chic picnic baskets for the summer and organize dinner cruises in New York Bay called

Wayan on the Water

.

We were forced to be creative so as not to sink,” he

adds

, “we couldn't give up

.

"

Laetizia Rouabah

, chef at Benoit, Alain Ducasse's bistro, adds: “

We were determined not to close.

The team came together and everyone worked together to build our covered patio

.

The customers followed.

Deliveries, meals taken outside in -5 degrees, simplified menus.

Even though neighboring cultural institutions are at a standstill and most hotels are still closed, we hope that tourists will come back this summer.

 In the meantime, Benoit's classics continue to delight: cassoulet, quenelles, or his famous pâté en croûte.

So Frenchy

.

Earlier, the Martinican chef

Bertin Boston,

who headed the Maison Kayser bakery team before the shops closed, landed at Chanson, a pastry shop on 23rd Street. “

We continued to work throughout the year, mainly thanks to the deliveries. Even Starbucks was closed

. He, too, testifies to this renewed energy and wants to believe that we are close to a return to normalcy. In the meantime, he is reinventing his kouign-amann, always looking for new ingredients. The city and its gastronomic players are waking up.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-04-08

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