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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Peachy Picks La Grenouille

Charles Masson of La Grenouille with the Grand Marnier Souffle!
Everyone should eat this at least once in their lifetime.  It is total heaven.
There are a handful of iconic restaurants in New York.
Many are overrated.
La Grenouille is not!
Princess Peachy has kissed this frog and it has easily advanced to Peachy's Picks.
La Grenouille is a bastion of French excellence, of course from the cuisine, to the top hospitality and then to the flowers that Giuseppe Bruno of Sistina told us about...but more about that later.

Last night we were drinking champagne at The Plaza for Lighthouse:
 and then we switched to drinking champagne at La Grenouille:
A lot of what happens at Whom You Know is of course because of whom Peachy knows.
When we see something great by someone we know, we get so excited and we love it when people take the time to care about extra details.  Details matter.  
A couple of weeks ago we were taking pictures of Star Vodka at Caravaggio:
And the flowers were AMAZING.  So we said to Cosimo Bruno-who is your florist?
And he said his brother, Giuseppe!
So we went to Sistina and told Giuseppe how impressed we were.
And Giuseppe said the only place in Manhattan that does as good of a job with flowers as him is La Grenouille and we should go check it out.
Giuseppe, you were right! Charles Masson has FABULOUS flowers!
It is not just the flowers themselves that we are impressed with by these two iconic Manhattan restaurateurs. It is the fact that they go the extra mile and care to do it themselves and it looks perfect.
And actually, they are just as good if not better than many florists!
But onto the cuisine.
But you should know there is a book called The Flowers of La Grenouille and we want to review that too in READ THIS.
Will was an outstanding bartender and is from France originally.
Peachy had Fois Gras with peas, pea shoots, favas, blanched almonds, and duck confit.  The duck confit flavor was truly exquisite and in a league of its own.
Thoughtfully arranged, this dish was so beautiful Peachy almost did not want to upset it by eating it!  But of course you know she ate every bite.  Charles must have known that green is her favorite color.  The mushrooms also were superlatively delightful and the flavor throughout was a symphony of excellence.
And who can resist cookies?  Not Peachy.
Our esteemed panelist adds:

At nearly 50 years of age, La Grenouille is a New York institution. Marked by excellence in every possible area (food, decor, service, ambience), La Grenouille is touted by many as the last of the great French restaurants in New York. Family-run since it opened its doors in December, 1962 (the current owner is Charles Masson, the son of the original owners), La Grenouille distinguishes itself apart from other restaurants in numerous ways: the phenomenal food, the perfect attentiveness of the staff, the breathtaking floral arrangements, and the painstaking attention to detail. One can tell at first glance that the entire staff takes great pride in their restaurant, and their love for their place of work ensures that all diners enjoy a top-notch experience from the time they cross the threshold. As we perused the menu and sipped a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut, I could not help but feel that there was nowhere else in Manhattan that I'd rather be. Mr. Masson was gracious and welcoming, the ambience was delightful, and the scents wafting through the air were tantalizingly delicious! And so it happened that I fell in love with La Grenouille before I took a single bite of the food! 

So, imagine my bliss when I did taste the food! I began with the farm-raised poached egg with green and white asparagus, which was simply out of this world. The asparagus was perfectly cooked - crisp yet tender, and the poached egg provided a terrific complement. Adding to the flavor of the dish was a creamy, savory sauce and mushrooms that were simply bursting with flavor. Peachy and I also had the joy of sharing a plate of assorted cookies and sweets, as well as a Grand Marnier soufflé which was, hands down, the best soufflé I've ever had. 
Light as air, sweet, with just the slightest hint of Grand Marnier, this soufflé was heaven on a plate. Overall, a simply divine dining experience at a restaurant to which I give the highest recommendation possible!

Peachy Picks La Grenouille

La Grenouille

3 East 52nd Street New York,
New York 10022
Reservations: 212-752-1495For Dinner: Monday through Saturday
For Lunch: Tuesday through Friday

Private Parties

Available Monday through Saturday
Private Party Line: 212.752.0652
Private Party Fax: 212.593.4964
The restaurant opened its doors on December 19th, 1962 on a quiet night in the midst of a snowstorm.
From the first day there were flowers, just a few roses here and there, but few as they were, this was to be the birth of a tradition.
La Grenouille serves classic French cuisine and spontaneous creations in a glowing setting that many consider home.
Jackets Required Downstairs, not Upstairs where lunch is served under the skylight or by the fireplace; in addition to our luncheon menu, a special “Ardoise” written on a slate changes daily for $35 (three courses). Please call for availability.
Smoking Prohibited
Out of consideration for your fellow diners we ask you to refrain from using cell phones or other devices, and that children under 12 be left in the care of a loving babysitter.
La Grenouille honors MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Our private party room upstairs features a wood-burning fireplace, Juliette balconies, high ceilings topped with a sun drenched skylight. The room was once the home of the painter Bernard Lamotte, who along with his friend Antoine de Saint Exupéry (author of "Le Petit Prince") hosted many parties with Greta Garbo, Jean Gabin and Charlie Chaplin. The room continues to host extraordinary events in a setting comfortable for parties of 20 guests or more.

Regis Philbin we hear you eat here and Peachy would love love love to bet with you on the Holy War in the fall-you know that is the football game between Notre Dame (where Regis went to school) and Boston College (where Peachy went to school)

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