It is a secret restaurant we wish we could keep secret. A neighborhood restaurant tuned to Pink Floyd. A restaurant for regulars where you always end up chatting with the person sitting next to you or with the owner Pierre. After spending several years as a bartender in New York, this French epicurean saved enough money to open his own restaurant three years ago. A restaurant no bigger than a handkerchief with only 18 seats. But don’t worry, Pierre will always find a seat for you at the corner of the bar.
Why is the place called The French Diner? It was the name of the previous restaurant and at the opening Pierre did not have enough money to change the storefront. That simple. Pierre doesn’t advertise the restaurant and there’s nothing more foreign to him than a marketing concept. He focuses exclusively on food and conviviality.
The menu is succinct and only leaves room for the essential. A few specials are scrawled on a slate: duck confit with its mushroom fricassee, a flank steak sublimated by caramelized shallots, panna cotta with candied cherries and a pinch of Guerande sea salt. The chef performs miracles in the Lilliputian kitchen concealed behind the counter. He serves unpretentious, authentic and tasty cuisine. No doubt you’re going to fall for it.
We know from a reliable source that a food critic from the NY Post frequently has dinner at this insider’s spot. He never wrote an article on Le French Diner. An address that even food critics keep jealously for themselves? In the culinary inner circle, this is a sign of success. Luckily you now know about it!
Le French Diner
188 Orchard Street, Lower East Side