Le Périgord, the unpretentiously pedigreed Sutton Place dining institution, may be over 45 years old, but a spiffy refurbishing and the always wonderful food keeps celebrities, U.N. delegates and loyal regulars returning year in and year out, to make this Grand Dame NY’s most satisfying luxury French restaurant.
A recent dinner starting with a dozen sparkling East Coast oysters, followed by a fresh ramp Vichyssoise, then miraculous baby soft shell crabs in butter almond sauce and airy soufflés, not to forget the grand dessert carte, breads and superb wine selection, all at affordable prices, keeps Le Perigord the reigning star of NY luxury French restaurants. If there could be just one host in this town, George Briguet would be the king. Our personal favorite!
Beef Wellington Burger at Le Perigord
This ain’t no patty: it’s a classic reinvented for one of the city’s most unique burgers
The most elegant burger in town since the db burger–that foie gras and truffle-stuffed delicacy served at Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne–is delivered with a knife and fork, by a waiter wearing a tuxedo.
Le Perigord’s just-launched beef Wellington burger ($18) transforms one classic dish into another. Executive chef Joel Benjamin mixes the beef, a lean prime chuck from Gachot & Gachot (also the favorite purveyors of Peter Luger), with clarified fat of foie gras, sautéed shallots, and a mix of oyster, porcini and shiitake mushrooms. The beef blend is then seared to seal in the juices. In lieu of a bun, Benjamin surrounds the meat with puff pastry, then bakes the dish until the meat is medium rare and the pastry a flaky golden brown. Served with rich truffle jus and haricot vert, the result is a succulent, luxurious, retro-meets-modern indulgence.
The burger, which was added to the a la carte lunch and dinner menu just last week, marks a landmark for the restaurant: This is the first time in Le Perigord’s 49-year history that one has appeared on the menu. Known for its classic French cooking, dignified service and table-side presentations, it may take some time for some of Le Perigord’s regulars to get used to the new addition, offered alongside signature dishes such as Dover sole meuniere ($50). No doubt, however, this burger is poised to win a new breed of loyalists on its own.
Le Perigord, 405 E. 52nd St., New York, NY
For reservations, call 212-755-6244, or book a table online ››
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Pinch me, it’s finally spring in New York! And now that we’ve had our fill of ramps and fiddlehead ferns, it’s time to sink our claws into soft shell crabs.
Citing the crabs’ sweet flavor and versatility, Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle counts them among his favorite ingredients to work with. “The arrival of the soft shells is always an exciting one for me. It indicates that the seasons are changing, and opens up a lot of the possibilities for what we can do in the kitchen.” One such creation at The Marrow last month featured crispy crabs paired with mustard greens, pickled ramps, cocoa nibs and a spicy almond sauce.
Here’s what three other local chefs are doing with them this year and where you can find ‘em.
Seafood whiz and Chef Ed Brown loves the sweet and briny flavor of his “softies.” At his upscale seafood spot in the Empire Hotel, Brown counts the way he loves them: “I cook them with just a touch of olive oil on theplancha, quick-fry them for a great sandwich or even give them the lightest coating of tempura, just enough to hold a few panko crumbs to make them super crisp.” To experience spring’s full bounty, order the daily sell-out special of Seared Soft Shell Crabs with Ramp Pesto, pea tendrils, spring vegetables and grilled sourdough, available through the end of the month.
Over on the east side, this fine French dining landmark makes soft shell crabs the star of their three-course prix-fixe menu (through the end of the season). Chef Joel Benjamin gives them the classical French treatment by preparing them à la meunière: after a whole-milk soak, the crabs are lightly (but thoroughly) coated in flour, then fried in clarified butter to achieve the perfect crisp-tender ratio. They’re nestled on a bed of wilted spinach and drizzled with lemon juice and melted butter (Mais oui!), then topped with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
In subterranean Manhattan, “Bishop of Bivalves” Executive Chef Sandy Ingber shows equal adeptness with soft shells. This season Ingber experiments with over 100 recipes for inspired preparations, giving the crabs a Cajun persuasion with smoky Tasso pork and roasted corn, or extra crunch with a macadamia nut crust and a zippy pomegranate buerre blanc. For the perfect summer salad, opt for Jerked Soft Shell Crabs. Four of the jerk-rubbed, grilled softies arrive on greens with hearts of palm, grape tomatoes and tidy piles of mango salsa, all dressed with passion fruit-poppy seed dressing.
They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. That’s certainly the case with me. If you are looking to woo and seduce someone, you cannot go wrong with any of these restaurants. They offer impeccable service, delectable food, and unforgettable experiences.
Le Perigord: 405 East 52nd Street – Sutton Place – If you are in the mood for classic New York, Le Perigord is your choice. Their 3-course prix-fixe menu ($65/pp) includes dishes such as lobster bisque, warm foie gras with seasonal fruit, filet of sea bass with creamy country mustard sauce, Dover sole with lemon butter meuniere sauce or grilled with mustard, and a roasted rack of lamb with fresh thyme crust.
Join us January 14 through February 8 for NYC Restaurant Week and enjoy our special Restaurant Week menu. Whether you’re a seasoned Le Périgord patron or want to try our classic French cuisine for the first time, Restaurant Week is a great time to drop in and savor something new.
- Kid-Friendly Fine Dining: 6 Big Ticket Restaurants for Little Ones in NYC + SF
- The Rise of the Gourmet Staff Meal
- Chefs Combine Nostalgia and Seasonality in Warm Desserts
- NewYork.com says “Peek into the history of NYC’s refined restaurant past” at Le Périgord
- The Daily Meal Says—Le Périgord: Classic French Dining as It Should Be