The Carlyle is an elegant Upper East Side hotel that’s home to the world-famous Bemelmans Bar and Café Carlyle, where Woody Allen often performs with his jazz band. The restaurant has been serving the world’s movers and shakers since before the Great Depression. It is designed like a comfortable manor house with high ceilings, a giant vase of fresh long-stemmed flowers in the center, and comfortable upholstered banquettes. The service is friendly and unrushed.
Classically trained Executive Chef Jacques Sorci is one of a handful of New York chefs who belong to the prestigious Maitres Cuisiniers de France. Popular traditional dishes such as Dover Sole and Lobster Thermidor are always on the menu, but Sorci, who grew up cooking with his grandmother, truly equates food with love. The flavor-rich Lobster Bisque with tomato and tarragon (and lots of cream) is warm and satisfying; comfort food with a bit of a kick. A thick filet of Chatham cod is paired with a thick and creamy New England style chowder sauce with fresh corn and other crisp vegetables. This satisfying entrée will leave you licking your lips for more. Vegetables are locally sourced and done to perfection to retain flavor and texture.
Try a salad of gently roasted baby yellow and red beets matched with Hudson Valley goat cheese and crisp greens dressed in an effervescent Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Check the Plats du Jour, too. Customer favorites include the Cornish Hen brined in Hard Cider (Tuesday), and Beef Wellington (Saturday). Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7am to 10pm; brunch Sunday, noon to 2pm. -- Marian Betancourt