I don’t much go for restaurants in the Upper East Side. I don’t think a lot of creativity lives up there in terms of restaurants. What does live up there is a lot of high maintenance women who demand no salt, no oil, no flavor, you know what let me just rework this dish myself because you’re my personal chef. Sorry, my PTSD from being a waitress on 62nd street flared up! I took a chance on Vaulcluse last night and I am thrilled to say it is a meal I couldn’t wait to write about.
Vaucluse opened a year ago in the space that was formerly occupied by Park Avenue Café. The company behind the restaurant is Chef Michael White’s Alta Marea Group. They are the team behind wonderful hits like Marea, Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori. The space engulfs you in NY glam & charm. Everything is polished to a T with deep grey banquettes, high detailed ceilings, and white table clothes. Old NY money is waited on by servers in proper waiter coats who make sure that your water and your drinks are constantly full.
Most of the restaurants in the group are Italian. Vaucluse is a departure from that, with a French menu. The menu is not cheap, but you do get what you pay for. You’ll find raw bar, homemade pastas, and plenty of intricately plated meat & fish options. The presentation of the food was flawless and there wasn’t a single extra ingredient on any of the dishes. There is tremendous restraint plating an asparagus dish as an appetizer with under 5 ingredients. The pasta we had was cooked to perfection and set in a rich trumpet mushroom puree. For entrees I experienced the best cooked pieces of fish and chicken I have ever put in my mouth. Then I had the pleasure of devouring the famed White Label Burger with the perfect blend of fontina cheese, tomato jam and dijonnaise. A don’t mind getting fancy from time-to-time, and I loved doing it at Vaucluse. Here’s what we had:
Asperges Blanches - jumbo white asparagus, hollandaise, sunflower, smoked salmon
Etoile de Fromage – comte ravioli, peas, trumpet royal, pine nuts
Loup de Mer Farci – Mediterranean bass, shrimp mousseline, spring pea ragout, piquillo pepper
Poulet Rôti aux Olives - roasted organic chicken, provencal olives, la ratte potatoes, lardons
White Label Burger- aged beef blend, fontina cheese, tomato jam, dijonnaise
Mousse aux Fruits Rouges - vanilla bean bavarois, pomegranate, rasberry sorbet
Gateaux Chocolat - mocha crémeux, chocolate genoise, caramel glace
Address: 100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065