380 Lafayette Street
Price – $$$
Cuisine – French
Cleanliness – 5 stars
Service – 5 stars
Dress – Smart
Melt romantically into the remaining days of summer by visiting Lafayette Grand Cafe’s Parisian themed downtown eatery for creative treats such as macaron and cannele flavored push pops among varieties of other French delectables.
Upon entering 380 Lafayette Street, you’ll find an intimate and colorful bakery flanked by a charming but sprawling, classic brasserie. Its spacious interior is maximized by comfortable booths lining the dining area, creating luxurious seating situations for large parties and cozy nooks for flirtatious two-tops.
The attentive wait staff will dote on you while successfully accommodating your beverage choices and dining needs. With a substantial but uncomplicated menu, there is an array of traditional and authentic French dishes to taste. Signatures such as Duck Rillette and Frog Legs are offered but, winning items such as their cucumber, sesame, smoked salmon Gazpacho and Prime Beef Tartare with tobasco aioli and quail egg should certainly be tried. The chilled, light, yet sharply flavored gazpacho is sure to refresh and open your palate while the hefty portion of dense, New Orleans style, prime beef tartare prepares you for the forthcoming succulence of your “piece de resistance”.
You’ll discover pleasing diversity among the entrée options with three different fishes and four different meats available. Memorable dishes are the Dry Aged Strip Steak and the Duck Au Poivre, both for their haute cuisine. Expertly prepared, the strip steak is most flavorful at a medium rare temperature while the Duck Au Poivre exudes its essence when ordered medium. Tender, juicy and substantial, both choices qualify as defining items in French cuisine and Chef Andrew Carmellini delivers to meet diners’ expectations. Ask your waiter/waitress for wine and cocktail pairings while noting the 2010 Chateau Franc La Porte Bordeaux, and the 2013 Bonnet Rouge Burgundy.
Punctuate your evening with something familiar yet unexpected: Order their seasonal macaron, cannele or blackberry verbena flavored push pops, Pastry Chef Jen Yee’s glamorous and modern twist on a childhood favorite. This delightful and interactive ice cream treat will close out your evening on a (sugar-) high note.
With a venue as endearing as Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery, allow yourself to let go and shamelessly indulge while reveling in the old sentiments of Marie Antoinette, “… let them eat cake!”