“There’s something so liberating about completely letting go of the past,” says chef Angie Mar on a latest morning. “About looking at a blank canvas and wrapping your mind around the idea that you’re about to build whatever you want.”
The chef, previously of the Beatrice Inn, is seated on the marble-top bar inside her vibrant new restaurant, Les Trois Chevaux. Located across the nook from the long-lasting basement hang-out the place Mar made a reputation for herself in New York’s eating scene, Les Trois Chevaux is in some ways a departure from the dimly lit Beatrice Inn. No longer is she beholden to paying homage to an idea rooted in eating historical past; Mar is free to dream up and prepare dinner a menu that’s really her personal.
“It’s really freed me creatively to write the narrative, because there is no history,” she says the week forward of the restaurant’s July 8 opening date. “There’s only the history of my family. There’s the history of what I ate as a child. There’s the history of two parts of who I am, which is a very old Frenchman and also my Chinese heritage.”
The chef has been eyeing the ethereal restaurant house positioned the place West twelfth and West 4th Streets meet for a number of years. The Beatrice Inn’s lease was up in January — mid-pandemic — and the hire improve was untenable for Mar to proceed in that house. Originally, she thought of a brand new iteration of the Beatrice Inn (Mar continues to personal the identify) in a brand new house. French chef Jacques Pépin, who Mar considers an expensive pal, steered her away from that concept. “He said that it was time for me to do something new,” she says. “Something that had my name on it.”
Les Trois Chevaux pays homage to Mar’s household; Mar in Chinese represents “the noble steed.” “I have two younger brothers, and when we were kids, my father and my uncles used to call us the three horses,” says Mar of the identify. “I very much believe that restaurants are all about family.” Two lamps, propped up by horse sculptures, are located on both finish of the restaurant’s bar.
Mar’s menu, served prix-fixe, continues to be rooted in French positive eating. “The menu that we’ve written takes diners through the regions of France,” she says, including that she drew inspiration from basic dishes of Léon, Salon-de-Provence, Normandy, and Bordeaux. “It’s food that makes me feel good,” she provides. “It makes me feel warm and cozy and reminiscent of my travels. But at the same time, it feels very fresh and new.”
While recognized for her indulgent steak choices on the Beatrice, beef doesn’t seem on the opening menu at Les Trois Chevaux. Instead, the menu consists of dishes like frog legs carried out two methods and a decadent truffle and caviar dish served with a croissant — which pays homage to chef André Soltner, an necessary determine in Mar’s cooking profession. There’s additionally a truffle turbot served with legumes des jardins, which marks a pivot; Mar isn’t recognized for greens or fish, as a result of she hardly ever supplied them on her earlier menus. “The food that I’m cooking now is lighter, it’s brighter, it’s more ethereal,” she says. “The food that I’ve been cooking for the past eight years is very deep and velvety, and this food feels very lacy and chiffon and air-light.”
That ethereal vibe is mirrored in her method to the restaurant’s interiors. The intimate eating room design was led by BWArchitects, with substantial affect from Mar, who personally oversaw manufacturing of sure parts together with the marble-top bar (she went to Staten Island to plot out the place the stone was being minimize) and mirrors with antique-style ending, which line the eating room wall reverse the bar. Framework was crafted by an artisan primarily based in Williamsburg, and gold leaf detailing was carried out by a fourth-generation framer in Bushwick, N.Y. Weekly floral designs displayed on the bar will probably be provided by florist Raul Avila, who handles design for the Met Gala.
“My familiarity of Angie’s work began in the form of word of mouth — a few of my friends raved about her specialty in meats and her mastery of herbs perpetually — so I had to scope the experience for myself. All it took was one visit for me to be hooked and craving more,” Avila says. “My goal is to use florals in a way which illustrates the feel of a chic French bistro, capitalizing and adding to Angie’s already very established concept.”
Staff uniforms have been designed by one other longtime fan of Mar’s delicacies, Christian Siriano. His seems embrace an ivory tailor-made jacket with white shirt and blue velvet bow tie for the servers, and a blue silk shirt with black trousers for the hostesses. “His design philosophy is very similar to how I design a menu and how I create dishes. There’s an element of whimsy and of excitement,” Mar says.
Jackets will probably be required for all male diners, and the restaurant is preserving a set of classic Yves Saint Laurent jackets readily available for visitors to borrow if wanted. The costume code speaks to an old style model of service that appeals to Mar and speaks to her culinary sensibilities. (It’s additionally one other household homage; her personal father wore a dinner jacket at any time when he went out to dine.) She hopes to evoke reverence and respect for positive eating; she desires it to really feel particular.
“Which I think has been lost very much in recent years,” she provides. “There are plenty of places in New York to go eat. There are few where we can really dine, and I hope to bring that back with Les Trois Chevaux.”
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