As you know I love it French, especially when it comes to food and drink. I wish I had a plane to whisk me away to Paris anytime I wanted to go. Until that wish comes true, I’ll enjoy a bit of France on the Upper East Side by going to Demarchelier.
I had the pleasure of being invited to the bistro to see what they are all about. We had a French waitress who gave us an authentic experience. She threw out the French which gave me a bit of practice and reminded me that my French is horrible. While Emily Demarchelier was a fabulous hostess, always checking in to make sure that we were okay.
Demarchelier has been a staple in the city since 1978. It’s still a family owned and run business, which makes it a rare gem in NYC. They provide a traditional; French menu with a wonderful selection of French wines and spirits. There are splashes of artwork throughout the restaurant, which is very oh la la. The art is actually by owner, Eric Demarchelier, well-known for his work. It adds some pop to the classic ambiance.
We had the opportunity of sitting at the table in the window. It’s rather romantic on a raining night, but also perfect for watching people.
We kicked off the evening with two cocktails. People normally complain that drinks are watered down in the city. That is definitely not the case at Demarchelier. The libations were potent. I had a martini with Empress gin while, he had a very strong margarita. I had to slow my roll and went for some wine. The menu includes wine from various regions in France. I opted for Champagne by the glass. It’s always a good time for bubbles, plus it’s perfect with a meal.
First course was the Avocado Crab Salad. I’m picky about crab since it’s not something I eat all the time. It proved to be right on. The crab and avocado was so fresh. It seemed like they had picked up everything that morning. It would also be a great for a pescatarian who is eating light. We also did the soup of the day which was spinach.
It was time for the main dishes, I went with the Filet Mignon with Pomme Frites. I would have to give these pomme fries like a 9 on the scale of 1-10. They are that good. Apparently, Demarchelier is known for their fries. Did I mention they were great with the Champagne? Tall, dark, and handsome, went for the Duck a L’Orange. We were told this special was so popular that Demarchelier has decided to leave it on the menu. It was his first time trying duck and he fell in love. I have to admit, it was pretty good. And might I add that my steak was perfection. It was even butterflied to really make me feel fancy.
I saved enough room for dessert. If there’s something that the French do well, it’s the sweets. I went with the Chocolate Mousse Cake, while he opted for the Profiterolles w/ Chocolate Sauce. Emily was an instigator and said that we needed one more dessert. Out came the Crêpes Suzette. The dessert is a popular French treat made with crepes, sauce, butter, sugar, orange zest, and Grand Marnier with a little touch of fire. Anything made with Grand Marnier gets my attention. The dessert was so good, especially with a shot of Armagnac. In fact, a couple that sat next to us literally came in just for the dessert.
I’ve been in NYC for quite some time and can’t believe it was my first time at Demachelier. It certainly won’t be my last. If you can get the table by the window, do it. You can also enjoy a romantic dinner in other areas of the restaurant. If you want to be a part of the action, kick it at the bar. It’s a good mix of locals and people popping in to imbibe. There’s a little something for everyone at Demarchelier and they make you feel right at home.
50 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028