After spending almost a week in Paris this past May I was itching to find some authentic Parisian cuisine now that I’m back in New York City. For a Tuesday night Demarchelier was busy with a steady flow of patrons both dining and drinking at the bar. Though, it’s not surprising that this neighborhood fixture was crowded on a weekday night, it has been successfully serving authentic French Cuisine for 25 years.
The restaurant had a wide array of patrons but those who stood out the most were the seasoned regulars. They have been finding France in this restaurant for years and are now a part of the family fold.
Whose family do you join when you become a regular at Demarchelier? That would be owner Eric Demarchelier, brother of famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Born and raised in Normandy, Eric had received recognition as a painter, but New Yorkers first got a taste of his culinary excellence when he opened the location of his first restaurant in 1978.
At the time the location was Lexington Ave but in 1992 Eric re-opened the restaurant on 86th Street. Eric shows his love for art into his restaurant through a rotating collection of his paintings. Part of the responsibility of running the restaurant has been passed along to Eric’s daughter, Emily.
Every dish that leaves the kitchen captures the essence of authentic French bistro fair. Diners will find familiar dishes on the classic bistro fare menu, which are coupled with daily organic selections with ingredients brought directly from nearby farms. The traditional French menu is paired with a wide range of predominantly French wines and curated cocktails.
The knowledgeable staff guided me through the menu and I opted for the rich cheese foundu which was served with fresh baked bread. Hot and creamy, the portion size was big enough for at least four, though I could have eaten the entire pot myself. For a healthier starter I also ordered the refreshing Avocado Crab Salad.
The Porkchop entrée was filling yet light with a dreamy sauce made of apple cider and sweet caramelized onions, creating an almost maple flavor. On the side was a Squash Au Gratin that only enhanced my cheese coma. A special menu item for the evening was a Garlic Ravioli that should be eaten for every occasion except date night due to the hazardous breath it created. I went authentic with dessert and ordered a fresh crepe that is flambéed right at the table.
Other dishes to consider include the Moules Mariniere Au Vin Blanc served in a cream-enriched broth; Duck Confit served over a hearty mix of tomato and tarragon scented flageolets; and Sole Meuniere, flour covered and pan-fried in butter, accompanied by a grilled lemon half and wedges of boiled potato, tossed in a mix of butter and chives.
Demarchelier’s decadent dessert menu features flavorful dishes such as Tarte Fine Au Pommes, a flaky tart filled with warm apples and served with fresh vanilla ice cream; and Crepe Suzette, a classic French pancake drizzled with Grand Marnier.
– Lauren Wire
50 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028
Photos via Demarchelier and by Socially Superlative