advertisement

“No Flash or Intrusive Photography please,” chastises diners in a footnote on the menu. That’s because this opulent bistro in the Grand European style, posing with every polished surface to appear like something Renoir would want to paint, is home base for celebrities and power lunchers. Built as a luxury car dealership for a doomed manufacturer, then used as a bank, a decade ago it became a caviar-scooping, oyster-shucking, tea-pouring hotspot, convincing nearly everyone who sips its pea-and-lettuce soup that it’s always been this way. Waiters are unattainably attractive and look down their noses as they gingerly place salad Niçoise and Swiss soufflé, enacting the calculated Continental crispness we crave.