The former home of designer Reem Acra at 14 East 60th Street has been the new home for the last four years of Rotisserie Georgette. It’s well located for busy upscale shoppers – right across from Barney’s and around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Madison Avenue shops and 5th Avenue. If you are looking for a quiet, serene, sophisticated and comfortable atmosphere, look no further than here. They also make a respectable rotisserie chicken and other French inspired dishes.
The owner is Georgette Farkas, who worked for Daniel Boulud for 17 years in PR and marketing. Let me assure you, she knows how to run a place and make her customers feel important. It sets the place apart from others. She was most gracious and made me feel right at home, making excellent suggestions about the menu as well as wine pairings.
It is hard to believe that this space was once an atelier. The long room seats 75 people, but if you include the bar and the private chef’s table in the back, it brings the number up to 105. The room has a relaxed elegance, with high ceilings, moldings, antique mirrors and sconces, cognac leather banquettes, and rather than linen on the tables, there is acid wash steel tables. The lighting is dim and there is a small open kitchen in the back, trimmed in blue and white tiles where you can see and smell the delightful birds turning over on the open flames. They have one of the best lunch deals going in this upscale neighborhood – you can get half a roasted chicken with jus Provençal, pommes frites and a side salad. For my taste, the chicken was a touch dry but still buttery and tasty, with a nice crisp skin. As far as the fries, I’ve had better elsewhere, and the salad was also fine. Still at $29, it is hard to get a meal of this caliber, with this level of service elsewhere. There other things on the menu besides chicken. Consommé, salmon crudo, buratta and foie gras terrine for example. There is also a selection of caviar.
What peaked my interest was the spring asparagus section. March through June is the optimal time for asparagus, and they had about four ways it was prepared from chilled with crispy prosciutto in a saffron vinaigrette, to white asparagus in a mustard vinaigrette or hollandaise, to farrotto, with faro, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. I opted for a roasted green asparagus with a tomato confit and toasted sunflower seeds. You could do any of these as an appetizer or a main course.
At lunch, there are a few main course salads as well. Besides chicken, you can also get fish, steak, sliders and ribs. There is also a beautiful whole roasted chicken served with wild mushrooms, Swiss chard, stuffed breast and seared foie gras, at a remarkable price of $36, that can feed two. But it is not just meat-centric, there was an abundant variety of vegetables to choose from. I went with some crispy sunchokes with rosemary and lemon, but unfortunately, they weren’t that crispy and were over-salted. A better bet were the roasted carrots in a grain mustard and maple glaze. They were outstanding and I couldn’t get enough.
For dessert, there were the usual French suspects. Creme brûlée, profiteroles, tarte tatin, Madelaine etc. I chose the chocolate pot de creme that was out of this world.
They are open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, except they don’t serve lunch on Saturday. They will be closed weekends in the summer because most of their clientele are in the Hamptons or traveling.
Georgette Frakas has herself a great brassiere that serves French fare, and serves it to a well-heeled upper east side crowd. As the New York Post said, “it is something to cluck about”.