Le Périgord Restaurant

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New York Social Diary

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The new season of “Mad Men” inspired me to visit a classic New York specimen in the form of a fabulous French dinner at Le Périgord. Mad Men is a juicy entrée into the lifestyles (wining and dining very much included) of the select men and women working at a first-rate New York advertising agency in the sixties. It’s not the plot so much that interests me, but the elegant environment in which it takes place, sorely missing in this all-too casual era.

Located at 405 East 52nd Street, Le Périgord is a gem of a restaurant that has stood the test of time. The formal French service and the beautiful, bold, fresh-cut roses that grace each table charms me with every visit. Le Périgord attracts a blend of locals, diplomats and politicians alike (as it is located a few blocks from the UN).

Fresh roses on every table. Le Périgord is one of the few restaurants where the customers aren’t busy texting and depositing their buzzing blackberries on the dinner table.

Richard Nixon used to dine here quite often and a published photo of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton under the restaurant’s awning in 1964 put Le Périgord on the map. When Georges Briguet bought the restaurant, he made sure not to change its name.

I ordered off the restaurant week menu which includes three courses for $35.00. It’s available until Labor Day and it’s an excellent value.

The cuisine is classic French so all dishes are served with rich, velvety sauces. To start I had the vegetable tart perched in a butter sauce. The tart, which was akin to quiche, was filled with a mosaic of vegetables and robust in flavor. They also have a cold salad bar with celery root remoulade and a selection of seafood, which you can just as easily make a full meal out of. The menu includes such favorites as asparagus with vinaigrette, Dover Sole and roasted duck.

For dessert I devoured the Grand Marnier soufflé. It was like breathing in a lightly scented orange cumulonimbus cloud. A great dining experience can simply evoke a certain time or feeling. That’s Le Périgord.

Read the entire review at NewYorkSocialDiary.com