BWW Reviews: LE PERIGORD A NYC Dining Gem
January 27, www.broadwayworld.com by Marina Kennedy
C’est tres excellent! There are countless reasons why Le Perigord has been pleasing their guests for over 50 years. The gracious, friendly service, the delicious modern and traditional French fare, and the elegant, yet relaxing venue all lend themselves to a delightful dinner. We suggest you put Le Perigord on your list of top New York City restaurants to visit for a real evening on the town.
And when owner, Georges Briguet greets you at the door as he has been for 5 decades, you feel an immediate connection to Le Perigord whether it is your first visit or you are one of their many regulars. As a matter of fact, there’s a true sense of family here, a staff that works together to insure that everyone who visits has the best possible dining experience.
The furnishings are chic and timeless. One can even imagine the evening that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton captured media attention in one of Le Perigord’s corner booths. This is a favorite spot for celebrated guests, East Siders and United Nations dignitaries.
The cuisine is an absolute stand-out among New York City’s iconic dining spots. Their 50th Anniversary tasting menu may be one of the best ways to experience the depth of the culinary artistry of Executive Chef, Joel Benjamin. It includes traditional favorites like House foie gras, Sweetbreads in a thin crepe, Lobster Thermador and Duck a l’orange, Endive, watercress and red beet salad as well as dessert.
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Read John Mariani’s great article about Le Perigord on HuffingtonPost.com from February 24. He gives his insights and impressions of the buffet table, the wine list, cheese course, deserts and our famous Dover sole. And his description of our Beef Wellington will have your mouth watering.
(clockwise from top left) La Silhouette; Bistro La Promenade; Le Périgold; La Mangeoire
My Favorite Burger – Fork and Knife Required
My favorite burger that you can eat with your hands is still Landmarc. Marc Murphy does an extraordinary version. The meat is crispy on the outside and flowing with juices on the inside. The bun is made in house, the fries are some of the best in NY and the side salad cleanses the palate!
But I now want to announce my favorite burger that needs to be eaten with a fork and knife!
This is the Beef Wellington Burger! Let me whet your appetite:
Lean prime chuck beef from Gachot & Gachot (purveyors to Peter Luger) is mixed with rendered foie gras, finely chopped sautéed shallots and oyster and porcini mushrooms. Then it is cooled then seared. Topped with MORE mushrooms, and rolled in puff pastry. Baked in 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes (for medium-rare). Served with truffle sauce and haricot vert.
Bring the lipitor!
When can I find this burger you may ask! Read on my friends and fans, read on!
In a city as busy and fast-paced at NYC, it can be easy to forget about the old and focus on the new. It’s always cool and hit to discover something new and the “hottest” but Manhattan is filled with genuine institutions that deserve to be recognized and celebrated.
Two words: Le Périgord.
A 49-year old classic French restaurant on Manhattan’s Midtown Eastside (far eastside!). Founder and host Georges Briguet, along with this son Christopher Briguet, set a gracious tone at this haute French favorite, welcoming all to experience fine French dining in a relaxed, yet refined ambience.
Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Joel Benjamin (Lutece, NYC), who has been with the restaurant for over twelve years. Specializing in classic French cuisine, Benjamin serves original dishes that are unique to Le Périgord, such as his delectable Alsatian Onion Tart, a savory appetizer that leaves one craving for more. Other specialty appetizers include Fricassée d’escargots au beurre de noisette et champignons des bois (escargots in hazelnut butter with wild mushrooms); Foie gras chaud aux fruits de Saison (warm foie gras with seasonal fruits); and La bisque de homard (lobster bisque). For the main course, Benjamin offers more traditional French fare, from Le filet de loup de mer á la Dijonaise (filet of bass with creamy country mustard sauce); to Boeuf Bourguignon (traditional beef Bourguignon); and Foie de veau meunière (calf liver with lemon butter sauce).
Le Périgord, which is named after a region in France, is known for its graceful tableside service of Sole Anglaise meunière, ou grillée avec sauce moutarde (Dover sole, with lemon butter meuniere sauce, or grilled with mustard sauce); Duck a l’orange (duck with orange sauce); and Carré d’agneau rôti á la croûte de thym frais (roasted rack of lamb with a fresh thyme crust). Guests should undoubtedly save room for its irresistible desserts, including Grand Marnier Soufflé, and its legendary “temptation trolley” of desserts which includes timeless favorites as Tarte Tatin, Chocolate Mousse and Floating Islands. Le Périgord’s wine list also pleases all with a fine selection of both old and recent vintages, offered at pricing that is reasonable.
With its comforting, old-world feel, Le Périgord, a Sutton Place landmark, delivers an elegant atmosphere for diners to enjoy superb French cuisine. Spaciously set white-clothed tables, many with banquet seating, make up the lovely main dining room.
According to The New York Times, “Le Périgord has been a dignified presence on the dining scene. It’s a French restaurant the way French restaurants used to be.” And now you can get a burger!
The burger with all the sides is 18 bucks.
Le Périgord (405 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022; 212.755.6244;
Open for lunch Monday to Friday, and dinner every evening.
Got a burger story? A burger that I must try? As long as it don’t start with the letters “Mc” let me know.
For more Le Périgord food porn, scroll down!
Loin of Lamb
What better way to spend an afternoon in the summer than in a French restaurant drinking rosè wine? Especially when the restaurant is Le Perigord, a French classic with the kind of elegant dining that is difficult to find in NYC any more. It is a very comfortable place with old world charm and excellent unobtrusive service.
Our host for the lunch was Alain Bonnefoy, wine consultant for the House of Burgundy. Alain was very knowledgeable and informative.
George Briquet, the founder and owner of the restaurant came by and told us the restaurant was opened in 1964. He added that after tasting these wines, for the first time he would put rosè wines on his list. Each of the courses was paired with a different rosè.
Palais Prive Rosé 2012 Cotes-du-Luberon AOC made from Grenache and Syrah. Michael Doyle, an American, owns the winery. This was the first wine served and it was very light in color with delicate red fruit aromas and flavors and a very nice finish and aftertaste.
Domaine Sorin “Terra Amata” Rose Côtes de Provence AOC. Made from 40% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah.15% Mouvèdre 15% Carignan, 15% Rolle and 5% Orgi. The wine is vinified and aged in vats. They do not use chemical fertilizers or weed killers. The winery is located in Bandol. This was paired with Jonah crab cake with roasted red pepper sauce and it worked very well.
Arbaude, Mas De Cadenet 2011 Côtes De Provence 40% Grenache and 40% Cinsault and 20% Syrah. The grape bunches are destemmed. There is cold maceration and bleeding, the must is racked and fermentation tales place at low temperatures. The wine is a traditional salmon pink color.
This was a rose with a lot of structure and flavor, a perfect combination with the seared lamb eye loin Barigoule.
Champagne Jeeper Rosè N/V AOC de Champagne 70% Chardonnay, 20 Pinot Noir 10% AOC approved red champagne.
Alain told an interesting story about how the wine got its unusual name. In 1944 the Second World War was coming to an end, Armand Goutorbe returned to his vineyard in Champagne badly handicapped. In order to be able to carry on the work, he was allowed to purchase an American Army Jeep.
From then on there was no stopping him. His vineyard flourished with his new mobility; the Jeep proved perfect for the awkward terrain. He was always with his trusty Jeep, his friends and neighbors nicknamed him Jeeper. So Mr. Goutorbe honored his much-loved Jeep by renaming his champagne vineyard JEEPER. We drank this with a strawberry tart.
Le Périgord Review – Experience and Appreciate French Classics.
Today’s dining is as trendy as fashion. The hottest restaurant will only remain so if it continues to innovate. Sure, there are classics like Peter Luger’s or Old Homestead that can stand the taste of time, something that appeals to our fundamental pleasures not unlike Chanel’s timeless jacket. But for the majority of restaurants not involved with grilling slabs of meat, it’s innovation or obscurity.
Le Perigord at the Upper East Side.
I’ve had friends who complained to me that a meal at Le Cirque or Gotham Bar and Grill felt like a time warp to the 90′s, imagine then my astonishment when I stepped into Le Perigord. This place feels as if it hasn’t changed since the 60′s.
Turns out it wasn’t just a feeling – some of the staff have been working here since the day the restaurant opened. The decor, though recently renovated, still feels decidedly old fashioned by modern standards. You enter into a space with no host or maitre d’, and stare aimlessly at a cold salad bar until you’re greeted by a manager. Then there are the patrons of this establishment, most of them are well into their retirements.
Classic decor and style.
The reason I wrote the previous paragraph is to prepare you for the initial shock. You will feel it, as I did. We are all spoiled and expect restaurants to look and feel a certain way, that any deviation gives a sense of baseless disappointment. Once you overcome the prejudice, then you’ll enjoy the true beauty of Le Perigord.
The staff are not swift footed, but provides service that are the culmination of decades of experience. The occasional joke or hyperbole statement helps lighten the atmosphere. The owner Georges Briguet came by our table to tell us our waiter Armando, who’s been at Le Perigord since day one, “doesn’t do lunch service because he has to go dancing each night with the ladies”, brought smiles all around the table.
The menu doesn’t follow today’s simplistic trends, a full description is given, not just the type of protein. In the kitchen is Joel Benjamin who worked years at the revered house of French cooking: Lutece.
Scallops with vegetable rizzotto started the meal with conviction. The presentation scores an immediate vote for classical French cuisine, and the taste matched the appearance in every way.
What gets more classic French than Escargots? Bathed in hazelnut butter with wild mushrooms, it was tasty and satisfying (a word you don’t associate with escargots often).
An ample serving of escargots.
At the staff’s insistence, we also sampled the mussel soup. “The most glorious soup in Manhattan” said Georges as the soup is served. The mussel flavor is harmoniously blended into a lightly creamy broth, with a mild bit of acidity at the end of each spoonful. I completely agree, this is glorious.
The Most Glorious Soup in Manhattan.
As we were anticipating the entree, Georges reappeared and interrupted the quietness: “Did you guys order the chicken? Angelina’s chicken?” Turns out each time Brad and Angelina are in town, they visit Le Perigord, sit in the corner booth, and order the chicken carved table side. We looked at the corner booth, no Bradgelina tonight, but sure enough the guests at the table are also having chicken.
Turbot with Comté crust and Champagne sauce was beautifully executed. With the thin comté cheese crust, the turbot was still perfectly pan fried. Le Perigord might be more well known for their Dover Sole, but the turbot was a solid dish, and the favorite of Mr. Briguet.
Turbot in Champagne broth.
Lobster in coriander broth showcased both the flavor and also unique texture of the Canadian lobster. While the world’s trying to poach lobster softer, the chef choose Canadian lobster over their stateside cousins for the darker color and sinew texture. The light coriander broth and vegetables provided a light accompaniment in flavor, without trying too hard to stand out.
Delicious Canadian lobster in coriander.
In case you haven’t seen it by now, there’s a roaming dessert cart. If you can resist that temptation, the fluffy berry souffle is incredible.
Finish off with a steaming souffle.
Great service, exceptional French classics, not to mention the most glorious soup in Manhattan and Bradgelina’s chicken. A classic combination that should be experienced and appreciated.
What does this rating mean?
405 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
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.
Dish Du Jour
Great Dining Experiences
Hot and trendy restaurants are no doubt a part of the NYC dining palate, but there is much to say for the tried and true. Le Périgord, a 48-year-old French restaurant on Manhattan’s East Side, meets the definition of haute cuisine, minus the stuffiness. Despite the gracious formality, the dining room has an open, airy feel, with pale gold walls, elegantly framed sketches of Parisian scenes and pristine white tablecloths. Le Périgord offers both an à la carte (roasted rack of lamb, Dover sole, beef Wellington) and a prix fixe menu (with more than a dozen entrées to choose from). And those desserts (left)! Floating islands, tartes Tatin: Let them eat cake, indeed.
» Le Périgord, 405 E. 52nd St., 212.755.6244
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