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.
Offerings draw from Mediterranean, Lebanese, and French influences to create an eating experience that is uniquely European, like high-speed rails and the masculine fanciness. In lieu of butter, the restaurant opts to use imported olive oil—a crafty French tactic for healthier hearts. Kick off your meal with a hot appetizer such as spiced chickpea fritters ($8), or start cold with the cream of yogurt with cumin ($7). A popular option is to make a meal entirely from appetizers; the restaurant offers appetizer-extravaganza choices to parties of at least two: the Imperial Assortment (10 appetizers and three meats, $40 per person) or the Royal Assortment (14 appetizers, $30 per person).
There are many salads to choose from such as the salade de fruits de mer, which contains lettuce, tomatoes, onion, red and green peppers, parsley, and mixed “fruits of the sea” ($17). Entrees include grilled meats and fish such as the filet mignon ($32) or sea bass filet ($31). Less expensive options include sandwiches such as a cheeseburger ($12) or pasta, like the vegetarian spaghetti with tomato, zucchini, aubergine and peppers ($14). You can also use your Groupon toward French wine and a multitude of other drink options, although the truly cultured will turn to the flask of Yoohoo in their glovebox.
Inside, L’Ybane is chic and warm while remaining sophisticated and classy. It feels as though the atmosphere was plucked straight from its French Riviera origins (minus the nude beaches). It’s an ideal date-night restaurant or great for larger get-togethers. If your party has four or more feasters, you can use two Groupons toward your meal.
Metromix explains the menu and atmosphere in further detail:
- With two locations on the French Riviera under their belt, it's no surprise that L'ybane's UES location eschews rich, heavy French fare for a lighter, Mediterranean take on Gallic cuisine...While the sleek, modern decor certainly offers Upper Eastsiders a departure from the neighborhood's more traditional bistros and stuffier French cuisine.
- This was my first trip to L'Ybane and I enjoyed every minute...The food was delicious and the service outstanding. I also liked the music in the background and the decor. I will definitely be back again. – Trader, Citysearch
- Very welcoming place. Friendly staff. Cute little garden in the back perfect for get-together with friends. Great selection of wine. Delicious hummus and babaganoush. – Gingerela, Urbanspoon
The French Motto and Why We Do It Better
At the American L’Ybane nothing has been lost in its translation from the original location in Nice. The same is not true, however, for the French national motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité, which also involves concepts that, though dear to the French, have been perfected by America and Americans:
France: 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.
France: The “equality” of the French motto refers to judicial equality.
USA: Under the law, everyone is equal except for famous people, the indigent, and falcons, who despite their intelligence, cannot be tried as people.
France: Meaning “brotherhood,” the French take their obligations to their neighbors seriously.
USA: In a quirk of translation, Americans love fraternities but hate their neighbors.
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Upper East Side
1136 1st Ave
New York, New York 10065Get Directions