I RECENTLY TOOK AN UBER TO FRANCE
Lynn here from Decor Arts Now. It felt a bit like Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was transported to a chic French bistro, complete with an iconic sidewalk cafe.
Walking in out of the cool night air, I was embraced by a warm and bustling ambiance, suggestive of a cabaret based in the lively French port city. The architecture and decor with dramatic lighting, colorful tiles and decorative accessories all conspired to give me the feeling that I was not in Kansas (ahem, New York City) anymore.
While I waited in the bar for my friend to arrive I looked around for Toulouse Lautrec or someone like him, sketching the crowd.
The city Marseille is France’s colorful gateway to the Mediterranean and is very much a melting pot of the variety of cultures that ring the sea. The cuisine, overseen by Chef Andy D’amico, has been serving up delicious food since 2001. The menu celebrates Marseilles’ delightful mix of French, Italian, Greek, and North African influences.
I had a delicious lamb shank. Other signature dishes include Bouillabiasse, savory tangines, succulent short ribs, fresh pastas, and a perfect steak frites. There also is an ample appetizer selection if you prefer to graze.
When we received our check, I learned that Marseille had several sister restaurants dedicated to the cuisine and ambiance of a variety of regions in France. Here are a few that sounded especially delectable: Cafe D’Alsace serves Alsacienne cuisine and is located on 2nd Ave. and 88th street. Apparently beer is a big deal in Alsace, because this restaurant employs a beer sommelier to aid you in selecting the ideal ale to complement your meal. Pigalle, located at 8th Avenue and 48th street, offers French Southwestern cuisine featuring ingredients such as truffles, wild mushrooms, duck, walnuts, chestnuts, hams, cheeses and the Armagnac typically found in the region. The cuisine of the Loire Valley, famous for such dishes as coq au vin and potato, goat cheese and onion tart is offered at Le Monde, found on Broadway between 112 and 113 streets. The seafood and crepes of Brittany are celebrated at Maison located at Broadway and 53rd streets. On Park Avenue South at 20th street, you will find L’Express, which evokes the city of Lyon and its cuisine by merging northern and southern influences in France. L’Express serves a variety of sausages, charcuterie and cheese plates, with plenty of beer and beaujolais.
Based on my delightful meal at Marseille, I suggest you to try them all (I plan to)! I am sure that the folks at Uber would be happy to provide transport. It would be like getting a culinary tour of France without ever leaving Manhattan. Just watch out for that surge pricing.
Marseille restaurant is located at 9th Avenue and 44th street in Hell’s Kitchen. It is ideally located for pre-theatre dining, but it is well worth a visit whether you are seeing a show or not.
Until next month!,
Lynn, Decor Arts Now
Image Credits: Marseille website, restaurantsnyc.com, Waiter taking order-Photographed by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times at Marseille Restaurant, and open table.