Even in a city like New York where there are numerous new, trendy restaurants popping up practically everywhere you turn, there are still several classic favorites that have stood the test of time. One of these restaurants, La Mediterranee, is a lovely French bistro and piano bar in East Midtown, which opened in the summer of 1980. For the past 35 years, loyal patrons have enjoyed the old-fashioned atmosphere that truly captures the essence of the French Riviera with the seaside paintings that grace the thickly plastered walls, the harmonious piano music, and palatable cuisine.
Live jazz music is offered every night with regular house musician Harold John performing most nights during the week. Some guest musicians have included Tony Middleton, Joe Alterman, and Laura Angyal among others. The happy hour, which lasts from noon until 8 p.m. includes $5.00 Chilean Merlot, Cabernet, and Chardonnay as well as Champagne, Sangrias, Mimosas, and Bloody Marys.
Some of the best appetizers include the French onion soup topped with Swiss cheese, and Escargots de Bourgone with garlic herb and pernod butter. La Mediterranee also offers Sunday brunch which includes Belgian waffles, chicken and mushroom crepes, and a wide variety of omelets including the Classic Eggs Benedict, the Smoked Salmon Benedict, or the Maryland Crab Cake Benedict among others. Delectable sandwiches include the Croque Monsieur consisting of ham and cheese with béchamel sauce and served with pommes frites, or the Croque Madame which is the same type of sandwich plus an egg on top.
Enjoyable pasta dishes include Lobster Ravioli with shallots, white wine and saffron cream sauce, Potato Gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes in a fresh pesto sauce, and Fettuccine Primavera with fresh vegetables and roasted tomato sauce. Some of the finest fish entrees include the Pan Roasted Atlantic Salmon with lentils, asparagus and Dijon mustard, or the Bouillabaisse a’la Mediterranée which is a collection of assorted seafood cooked in a Pernod lobster broth with saffron served with croutons and rouille.
Classic meat dishes include Classic Beef Bourguignon with beef in red wine served with vegetables, onions, and mushrooms, Coq Au Vin with chicken in red wine with onions and vegetables, and Roast Pork Tenderloin served with sautéed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes in Calvados sauce.
And last but certainly not least, some mouthwatering desserts include Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brulee, Cheesecake, Souffle, and assorted ice cream and sorbet.
La Mediterranee, 947 Second Ave. (at 50th St.) (212) 755-4155.