Stepping into Firebird Restaurant is like time traveling to 1912 Russia. The velvet-cushioned, curlicue-encrusted mansion—where Natalie Portman directed her short film Eve—sprang from the dreams of Baroness Irina von der Launitz, granddaughter of Saint Petersburg's turn-of-the-century mayor. A two-story entrance guards the dining room, just one of the many rooms where gourmet Russian meals and a sea of domestic and imported vodkas slake appetites. The caviar menu is sprinkled with poetic details about the roe's colors, flavors, and textures. Supping guests can choose from the main menu, and they can also opt for a dinner tasting, prix fixe meal, or private dining experience.
Suited for royalty, Firebird's decor is lush and dramatic, with vibrant curtains parting to reveal plump, cushioned chairs and fine porcelain. Marble busts contrast with the crimson wood and dining seats of the library, where gold gates corral avenues of old timey books. The ballroom's domed ceiling centers around a skylight, and the China Room's unexpected green walls, carpet, and curtains serve as a refreshing backdrop for delicate filigree accents.
As a child, Claude Solliard filled his mother's pantry with produce from the northern Italian countryside. He picked wild mushrooms, tended grapevines, and harvested bushels of spaghetti, becoming a farm-to-table chef long before it came into fashion. As the executive chef of Oregano Bar & Bistro, Solliard reprises this role while fusing French and Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) cuisine. He adds French flair to paella by adding duck, and redefines ratatouille by plating it with Serrano ham and salmon.
When New York Times reported on the opening of Oregano Bar & Bistro, it placed special emphasis on the bistro's décor concept, which originated from the mind of Erick Caceres. To create a classic-yet-modern ambiance, Caceres outfitted the 133-seat bistro with a glass-enclosed garden room and waterfall. A red-leather banquette stretches across the main dining room and backs up to a wall inlaid with mirrors that advertise the catch of the day and your face.
If you hold a map close to your face with your left eye focusing on New York and your right eye on France, then slowly move it farther from your face, today’s Groupon will start to take shape. What you’re seeing is the two cross-Atlantic L’Ybane restaurants blurring together as one, creating the most authentic Mediterranean experience on the Upper East Side. For $25, you’ll get $50 to spend on food and drinks from the New York menu, which, due to secret teleportation basement, is identical to that of the sister location in Nice, France.LibertyFrance: The ideal of liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others.USA: Liberty is used mostly to wear pajama pants outside.
Beneath the cascades of light that pour through a central skylight, Lina Frey's wait staff scampers past a stone bar with steaks, seafood, and crepes. Intriguing aromas draw eyes toward the kitchen, where chefs harness the recipes that serve as a tribute to Lina Frey, a French native and the grandmother of co-owner Patrice Bihina. Sauces infused with peppercorns or reduced from port wine drape across plates on a sunny enclosed terrace that brings modern comfort to natural beauty like a butterfly's track suit. Amidst expanses of polished hardwood and vintage-inspired wooden tables, diners customize the shop's crepes, which The New Yorker noted formed a "satisfying supper when paired with the lemony sautéed spinach and a cold glass of French rosé." Glasses laden with wines and cocktails rise to toasts at the full bar with the gentle clinking sound of a lazy pianist.
Chef Claude Godard, a celebrated, Burgundy-born epicurean master, conducts succulent orchestras of flavor, scent, and presentation with each tasting menu. Selections for the five-course tasting menu are plucked purposefully from the restaurant's toothsome regulars, creating a culinary roster as well-rounded as Julia Child's kickball team. Rouse appetites with the daily appetizer, which may consist of a diver sea scallop tart with scallion fondue, resplendent in vinaigrette. Hearty entrees include a delectable veal cutlet regaled in a crown of asparagus and parmesan, and tender lamb stewed in eggplant gratin. Taste buds can venture into the dulcet domain of desserts, including grapefruit napoleon, chocolate molten cake, and apple terrine, which is forged, like a Las Vegas fairy tale, over the course of 24 hours.
Locally sourced ingredients alchemize into upscale French cuisine at the celebrity-favored Bistro Chat Noir. Aside from strictly French eats, such as onion soup with gruyere, the bistro's signature Black Cat burger "delivers a textured, tantalizingly sweet payload," according to the New York Post, topping humanely raised beef with free-range, vegetarian-fed pickles. Founder, manager, and co-owner Suzanne Latapie bedecks the townhouse's cream walls with impressionist oil paintings daubed by her grandfather, Louis Latapie. Low lighting gently illuminates brunches, lunches, and dinners of truffle mac 'n' cheese, roasted-beet salad, steak tartar, and lobster. Guests can secure tables with the online reservation widget, or customize a prix fixe menu for private events by placing a call.