L’ecole is unique among the restaurants featured on our site: it is run by the students of the prestigious French Culinary Institute and your dinner is their homework assignment. This has two consequences that are flip sides to the same coin: the quality of the food (and the service) can be marginally more uneven but the restaurant boasts a truly unbeatable value compared to its peers. The four course prix fixe menu is $47 with wine pairings available for only $30 more. This is a price point considerably lower than the restaurant’s immediate neighbors in quality, and we have even found the food to be, on occasion, transcendent. The restaurant also offers a platform to showcase the up-and-coming chefs of tomorrow. David Chang (Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche), Dan Barber (Blue Hill) and Bobby Flay (Bar Americain) all once cooked as students at L’ecole.
The food is classic and contemporary French. One shouldn’t assume, however, that it is staid or uncreative as a result. A braised pork belly came with a Bulgur wheat and tomatillo vinaigrette and was paired with a Sancerre-Sauvignon Blanc blend (!). A brioche crusted seared scallops with a butternut squash hollandaise is truly magnificent. For an excellent but reasonably priced meal in New York City, we can think of no better recommendation than L’ecole.
New York (at Grand St.)
212-219-3300 Mon-Fri, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm; Sat-Sun, noon-3pm, 5:30pm-9pm
- ICC Instructors & Students, Chefs
RECOMMENDED DISHES See All
- Braised Pork Belly, Prune Glaze, Bulgur Wheat and Tomatillo Vinaigrette
- Brioche Crusted Seared Scallops, Butternut Squash Hollandaise
- Seared Duck Breast, Braised Duck Thigh, Roasted Apples, Braised Endive and Red Wine Sauce
- Seared Rack of Lamb, Artichokes and Goat Cheese Sauce