This summer New York City is awash with French influences, from food festivals to buzzy restaurant openings.
Bacchanal's Atlantic codfish.
Bacchanal: The cuisine at this restaurant in the newly-renovated Sohotel New York marries the culinary heritage of France with Italy and Spain in signature dishes such as crudos and hand-carved jamon Iberico. Hyper-seasonal cocktails make use of fruits, herbs, and vegetables, while beers are stocked from as far away as Lebanon and Switzerland. 146 Bowery, 646-355-1840
Cherche Midi: Keith McNally’s sleek new space on the Bowery features a signature Pat LaFrieda burger made with prime rib, bacon marmalade, and aged gruyere. Expect to see McNally veterans behind the burners here, such as Balthazar Chef Shane McBride and Daniel Parilla of Minetta Tavern. 282 Bowery, 212-226-3055
Dirty French: One of the most anticipated openings this summer will be inside the Lower East Side’s yet-to-open Ludlow Hotel. The restaurant, run by Major Food Group’s Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick (of Carbone fame), will feature classic French dishes like lamb carpaccio and roasted chicken with crepes. (Opening mid-August)180 Ludlow St.
Chicane: The focus here is on the food of the southern French coast, otherwise known as “cuisine de soleil.” Traditional fare like bouillabaisse made with branzino, and barbajuans (a calzone-like pastry that is the national dish of Monaco) make an appearance, while cocktails are playful, like the Sangria Sud de France, mixed with lavender-infused red wine. 430 Broome St., 212-226-5999
Claudette: Fresh off the success of their nearby restaurant Rosemary’s, Carlos Suarez and Mark Barak have opened this stunner in Greenwich Village. The menu, which is influenced by travels through Provence, has many Mediterranean touches, as seen in the chicken tagine or the chocolate pot de crème spiked with harissa. 24 Fifth Ave., 212-868-2424
Dear Irving: Inspired by the movie Midnight in Paris, this cocktail parlor in Gramercy Park features themed rooms, from the luxe Marie Antoinette to the 1920s-imbued F. Scott Fitzgerald. Classic French nibbles like croque monsieurs, New York State rabbit rillettes, and a chicken liver and foie gras parfait are also must-try dishes. 55 Irving Pl.
Racines: The first New York outpost of the beloved Parisian wine bar allows guests to choose from biodynamic and organic wines from French varietals, many of which are not available elsewhere. The food is also not to be missed: Chef Frederic Duca earned a Michelin star while working at Paris’ L’Instant d’Or and his creativity is evident in plates like lobster with spiced-carrot froth and squid ink capellini. 94 Chambers St., 212-227-3400
Sud de France Festival: During the month of June (through June 30), this festival brings flavors from the south of France to New York through a series of feasts at some of the city’s most in-demand restaurants. Participating eateries include Contra, The Cleveland, and Navy, and the menus will feature renditions of typical Languedoc-Roussillon specialties like cassoulet and cod brandade.
Le Fooding Beach Club: Considered the hipper alternative to the Michelin guide, Le Fooding, a 14-year-old French movement, brings its signature alternative programming to New York this summer through the Sanpellegrino Fruitstock at the Rockaways. The three-day event in July (July 11-13) features chefs like Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi and Ivan Orkin from Ivan Ramen, live music, and a beach picnic on Rockaway Beach.