Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two

Magazine article The New Yorker

Tables for Two

Article excerpt

60 W. 55th Street (688-6525)--It is always a perfect spring day in this spacious, half-timbered dining room, with its striped awnings and brightly painted murals of the pretty harbor of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and a verdant woods that couldn't be better for a dejeuner sur l'herbe. La Cote Basque, a holdover from a time when a trip to one of the city's top French restaurants was almost as good as a trip to France, seems more inviting than ever. On a recent night, the maitre d' shepherded two patrons from the reservations booth through a crowded dining room to a banquette with the imperturbable smoothness of someone for whom doing this sort of thing is not a job but a calling. One look at the grizzled waiter told you that the acting profession, for this man, has never held the slightest allure. From les potages to les desserts, the dishes on the menu registered like warm, old friends, even to a diner with schoolboy French: bisque de homard, assiette de charcuterie maison, escargots meridionaux, casserole de Saint Jacques au safran, ris de veau saute forestier, tarte tatin et sorbet au Calvados, creme brulee a la Cassonade. …

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