Ooo La La!

Saks Fifth Avenue in New York reopened their restaurant, L’Avenue, that sits atop the store on the ninth floor. Beautifully appointed in rich browns, beiges, tans and creams, the Philippe Starck-designed space oozes civility and elegance and is the New York branch of the popular Paris attraction.

Styled after an art-deco Parisian bistro, the space is large and airy with lots of nooks and crannies for tête-à-têtes as well as seatings for larger parties. The restaurant is clubby and warm and also features an added bonus—traveling down a short, sweeping staircase you enter an après-ski style chalet bar and lounge that is open for late night libations and small bites as well as dining on the terrace.

I recently went for an afternoon lunch and the experience was stellar. Sitting in the main dining room, warm bread was brought to the table to start—one a mini baguette; the other a mini ciabatta—both served with a decadently creamy French butter.

I selected the Morel Rigatoni with a side of steamed green vegetables as the main dish. The rigatoni was perfectly al dente and the morel sauce was superb. The well edited wine list features mostly French reds to compliment the various dishes on the menu and I chose a Côtes du Rhône. There is also cocktail menu by famed bartender Nico de Soto along with a nice selection of mocktails.

When finished and presented with the dessert menu I was intrigued with the PB&J Glacée—a decadent mixture of peanut butter ice cream between vanilla ice cream scoops on top of Concorde Grape jelly, all sprinkled with candied peanuts, mini brioche croutons and a piece of shaved Concorde Grape jelly. It was spectacular!

The restaurant staff is gracious and attentive and strive to make the dining a memorable pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it’s definitely a hot spot worth repeat visits. It also makes a great option for special occasions and is a real escape from the city below.

And, of course, you can do some shopping along the way!

L’Avenue is open Sunday-Monday 11:30am – 4:00pm and Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am – 10:00pm. Reservations are recommended.