New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Lafayette is Andrew Carmellini’s biggest restaurant to date, a stylish grand café in the European mould – with a bar which is worth visiting in its own right. It’s a large spacious venue with a large windows, attractive Art Deco tiled columns, and smart, caramel banquettes. The rotisserie is given pride of place, something of a statement of intent. The cocktails are also French in influence: the Asterix Elixir is an aromatic mix of gin, herbs de Provence, chartreuse, and citrus, while the French Street in Manhattan blends rye, byrrh, Gran Classico, and Angostura Bitters. We particularly like the sound of the Rive Gauche, a layered mix of vodka, rhubarb, basil, pink peppercorn, and champagne. They also serve a classic Absinthe Frappe and there’s an epic French wine list, some 350 bottles in total, divided by region, with a number of well-chosen wines by the glass and a wallet-friendly carafe du jour. Traditional French aperitifs are served and they stock a decent selection beers. The food menu continues the Parisian theme with an abundance of charcuterie and fruits de mer (including an epic ‘Noho Plateau’). Food is market-sourced and ingredient driven. Think duck au poivre with organic grains and bacon, a rich bouillabaisse, or a rôtisserie chicken for two. There’s an onsite bakery and you’d do well to save room for one of their plump éclairs or a couple of their bright, elegant macarons.