Did you make it to the French Riviera or Provence this summer? If not, why not sample the authentic French fare at Demarchelier on the Upper East Side. If you haven’t been to this family bistro in a month or two, you’ll find there’s something new to discover every night. For example, they offer a special quiche of the day and there’s a daily entrée that is featured weekly consisting of their popular specialties.
This convivial bistro on 86th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues, has been a perennial neighborhood favorite since 1978 because it feels like it was imported in whole from Paris. It also has a casual, family-owned establishment, with eclectic artwork on the walls and patrons dressed in whichever style they please. The cuisine is home-made, hearty, and has an undeniably authentic simplicity in spite of being French. Feel free to dine alone or with friends – it’s that type of place. And you can wear flip flops and jeans or formal office attire to savor a glass of Pinot Noir or Alsace Riesling at the bar before dinner. Best seat in the bistro is definitely the window table, which seats two and is slightly elevated over the rest of the room, enabling you to view both the pedestrians outside and the other diners in Demarchelier. Perfect for a date night.
The Saint Emilion wine is rich and smooth, and pairs well with the bistro’s Endives, Apples and Roquefort Salad, which is a fresh and tasty. The special of the day is always changing. When we visited, it was a whole Branzino fish, cooked to perfection and accompanied by cauliflower and greens. The chef will prepare it perfectly for you at your request, so you can enjoy it without bones.
Another excellent entrée is the Organic Chicken, which comes with French Fries. An organic menu is available daily, and encompasses all natural, grass-fed items such as Pork Chops, Chicken, or Calves Liver from local farms outside of the city.
For dessert, I suggest that you opt for the Lemon Pie served with real whipped cream, which is tart with a lemon zest, and has a crispy pastry crust. Their Profiteroles are also sheer perfection with a cappuccino or espresso.
The menu is as French as can be, with traditional options like Escargots, Moules, Quiche and Onion Soup for appetizers and great plats de resistance such as Filet Mignon, Grilled Ribeye, Hanger Steak or Steak Tartare — but you will also find a grass fed Angus Burger or a Bison hamburger. Grilled Salmon with lentils, Sole Filet with lemon, Rainbow Trout and Cold Poached Salmon give fish lovers plenty to enjoy. You can even order an authentic French Fondue for 2 people. Consider the Prix Fixe Dinner for $37 or a lunch at $22. All options are perfectly paired with a wide range of almost exclusively French wines.
This is the ideal place to grab a bite after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum, (right down the street). Brunch may be busy here on the weekends though, so call or check online to make a reservation beforehand. If you haven’t been to Demarchelier yet, make this restaurant a must-dine destination to kick off the Fall season and say au revoir to summer.
50 East 86th Street
Click here for more information and their weekly menu: