Some historians believe that April Fools’ Day began in France. Circa 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the day of pranks and misinformation. Allegedly in 1564 King Charles XIV reformed the calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. Without the Internet, mail or even trains, the people were confused. Those who celebrated the wrong day were made fun of.
The French tradition continues today playing practical jokes like attaching a paper fish to someone’s back. This wacky practice is mostly shared among school students and possibly stems from photos and illustrations featured on many late 19th- to early 20th-century French April Fools’ Day postcards.
This Wednesday, Gaby Brasserie Française, located in the Sofitel New York, continues the tradition with pranksters, treats and surprises for diners. Expect to indulge on fine French cuisine like Escargot, French Onion Soup, Angus Filet Mignon and of course fish: Chilean Sea Bass, Whole Bronzini, Tuna Quinoa Niçoise and other specials of the day. Every table will be included in the light-hearted pranks with one table guest possibly donning a paper fish on their back. Without humiliation, these lucky diners will win complimentary gifts like dessert, wine and the chance for a gift certificate at Gaby’s valued at $100.
Sylvain Harribey is the Executive Chef at Gaby Brasserie Française. He earned a French culinary degree in 1990 from The Talence Hospitality School in Bordeaux before attending the renowned Lenôtre in Paris. He is also the recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond Award and won 1st Place on the popular Food Network show “Chopped”. He and his team will be heating up the kitchen while management and a cordial wait staff serves up the fine cuisine and merriment.
There is nothing foolish about laughter over silly antics and a delicious and remarkable meal with your bon ami on poisson d’avril.
Gaby Brasserie Française
Sofitel New York
45 W 44th St,
New York, NY
For reservations or more information, visit http://www.gabynyrestaurant.com
or call 212-782-3040.