A sophisticated bistro on the Upper East Side has been pleasing customers for 25 years, welcoming guests into their candlelit and homey-feeling French restaurant. Sel et Poivre, a family-owned restaurant, is a quaint spot for a meal, with black and white photos, wooden tables and antique sconces adding to its classic feel.
I was intrigued to try out this restaurant because it had many dishes I had never tried before. The meal began with a Celery Root Remoulade with red beets. The flavors meshed very well together in this dish and was a great starting point for the meal. This was followed by a Red Pepper Bisque, which was wonderful. I loved this soup and what made it even better was that instead of using cream, its base was a potato broth, making it healthier and not so thick. If I saw this soup on a menu I wouldn’t have thought to order it, but am very glad it was served!
The Wild Striped Bass, which was served with artichoke hearts, fennel and black olive lemon oil, was a real treat. Sometimes I think of it as an art to perfectly cook fish — not too dry and not too rare — and this hit the mark. The bass, along with the artichoke and fennel, gave it great variety and made it taste just a little different with each bite. We also loved the Duck a l’Orange, served with wild rice. The duck was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and was one of our favorite dishes of the evening.
For those of you with a wild side, we went outside our comfort zone with some traditional French dishes, starting with Veal Kidneys, served in a mustard sauce with boiled potatoes and spinach. The sauce was incredible and for something that, to me, sounds unappetizing, we were pleasantly surprised by the flavor of this dish. More on par with our usual fare, we also had the Aged New York Sirloin Steak, served with both Roquefort and Poivre (pepper) sauce. The steak was delicious, and both the sauces were fabulous. We enjoyed dipping frites into the sauces, as well. In addition to the kidneys, we tried another new dish for us, the Calves Liver a la Lyonnais. While the onion sauce was fantastic, the liver itself was too gamey for my taste, but others at the table really enjoyed it.
We finished on a high note with dessert, enjoying both the Chocolate Lava Cake, which melted in your mouth and was not too rich, and the Créme Brulee, which was so satisfying. Sel et Poivre is truly a place that transports you outside New York and we recommend it for a romantic date night or just a spot to forget the bustling New York City life.
Sel et Poivre is located at 853 Lexington Avenue.
Twisted Talk: What’s your favorite French bistro in Manhattan? Have you been to Sel et Poivre? Which dish are you dying to have? Discuss below!