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La Grenouille

Critics' pick
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Photograph: Ilenia Martini
Midtown East
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New York’s haute French dinosaurs (including Lutece, La Cote Basque and La Caravelle ) have basically gone extinct over the past few years. La Grenouille, which opened in 1962, is the last survivor, a window to when stuffy waiters and chateaubriand were considered the highest form of dining. It doesn’t get much snootier: jackets are required, cell phones and kids forbidden, and the electric red décor, full of mirrors and flowers and deco details, has the feel of a Mad Men power lunch. That said, La Grenouille endures for a reason: the execution, whether tender, fried sweetbreads, buttery Dover sole with a mustard sauce or five types of pillowly soufflé, remains near flawless. You pay for the flashback—at $95, the three-course prix fixe runs what a full-blown tasting menu does at other top spots, and that’s before numerous insulting supplements and the heavy-hitter wine list. Living history comes at a price.
Venue name: La Grenouille
Address: 3 E 52nd St
New York
Cross street: between Fifth and Madison Aves
Venue phone: 212-752-1495
Website: http://la-grenouille.com
Opening hours: Mon 5–11pm; Tue–Sat noon–3pm, 5–11pm
Transport: Subway: E, V to Fifth Ave–53rd St; 6 to 51st St
Price: Average main course: $47; prix fixe $95. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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