“Ibiza was totally banal,” notes the table behind you. “Cheers, girls!” toast the young ladies to your left, carefully clinking vintage coupes in hopes of capturing the perfect Boomerang. “This is actually my first time here,” confesses the woman across the aisle to her server. It’s Ruth Reichl. Of course it is.
Welcome to the fabulous world of La Mercerie, a tidy all-day French restaurant and (be warned, as this is a thing now) immersive retail experience. An outgrowth of a husband-and-wife interior-design firm, the restaurant is located in the happy couple’s Roman and Williams Guild, a greed-inducing furniture and design store in Soho. Here’s the deal: everything on your table is for sale (there’s a little menu with pictures and prices attached to the wine list). That petal-shaped plate beneath your lovely, anchovy-laced niÇoise salad? It’s yours (for $58). The flowers perfuming the lush, light-drenched room? Sure. The shop’s near the door. The table itself? It can be at your doorstep before brunch is over.
The entire place is a #blessed post waiting to happen, and for the fashionable set streaming in for coffee and pastries, lunch meetings or languid dinners, that’s reason enough to make an appearance. But thanks to acclaimed French chef Marie-Aude Rose, the food at La Mercerie is also a draw: not only uniformly Insta-worthy but pretty tasty, too. Like the silky smoked salmon with a warm, fluffy blini, crusty bread with salt-flecked buckwheat butter and impossibly creamy