By Annabelle Goodman –126A Cumberland St 416 961 1893
Oh La La! Authentic French food and atmosphere at its best! Jacques has been the master chef here for 34 years. It is consistently superb. It was such fun to discover that Olivier is Jacque’s son and has been working here for a while. He is so charming and efficient. Jacque’s wife, Martine, continues to efficiently run the front restaurant, greeting the clients and making sure that everything is running smoothly. I like to support a family run business.
I love this little spot in Yorkville because it is small, charming and so authentic with superb French cuisine. Many years ago it was named Jacques’s Omelettes. They still are the best omelettes in town. The name was changed when the big rock and magnificent park was constructed across the road on Cumberland St. If you are lucky enough to get a window view it is such fun to look out over the park and observe the Yorkville passing crowd. The restaurant is on the second floor and perfect for viewing the neighborhood
One continues to come here because it is guaranteed that every bite will be savory to the palate. My dining companion and I had just come from a most unsatisfactory film. We badly required a glass of wine and some fine food. The Salade Nicoise with Fresh Salmon was an excellent choice and one of the daily specials. I literally drool over the tarragon dressing. The bib lettuce was so fresh. The salmon melted in my mouth. It was moist and flavorful. The green beans and asparagus were still al dente. Small cubes of potatoes added to the flavor. Olives, boiled eggs, and anchovies completed this tasty selection.
Omelettes continue to be a favorite and for a good reason. They are the best in town. I was tempted by the Nicoise Omelette. It is composed of tomatoes, cheese, onions, green peppers, and eggplant.($18.95) The Epinards et Fromage is prepared with spinach and cheese.($18.95) There are 10 different varieties of omelettes. They are fluffy and so tasty.
A la Carte ce Soir lists many fine entrée selections. Medallions de Ris de Veau Flambes au Calvados is an offering of medallions of sweetbreads sautéed with mushrooms, apples and flamed in Calvados wine.($27.25)
Le Carre d’Agneau a la Provencale is perfectly prepared roasted rack of lamb with Dijon mustard, bread crumbs and garlic.($33.25) We noticed several orders being presented to the tables. The presentation of the food was so artistic.
Saumon Frais de l’Atlantique au Basilic is offered poached or grilled with basil butter sauce. I have enjoyed this specialty on many occasions.($25.25)
No matter how full you may feel a dessert here is ‘de rigeur’. The French pastry Lemon Tarte or Tarte de Framboise is an unforgettable experience. For me it is an instant ‘happy pill.’ Tarte Tatin is served warm with ice cream. Gateau Honoree is at its best here.
This is fine French cuisine at an affordable price. It is an opportunity to practice speaking French. It is as if you are in a little corner of Paris.
I think it is incredible that Jacques has maintained the high standard for so many years. There are specials listed every day on a board at street level. The regular menu offers a lengthy list of fine choices. The service is excellent. Do make a reservation because the place is always crowded. (with good reason)