The NYC Restaurant Ina Garten Recommends For Elegant French Food

With over 26,000 restaurants in New York City (according to World Cities Culture Forum), finding a place to satisfy your craving for French food shouldn't be too difficult. Though if you're looking for something extra special, fans of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, will be happy to learn there is one restaurant in the city she has repeatedly given her enthusiastic seal of approval. As noted by Guest of a Guest, Garten posted about La Mercerie twice on Instagram within the span of a month in 2018, both times singing the praises of chef Marie-Aude Rose's smoked salmon and blinis lunch dish, calling it "like going to Paris without the airfare."

La Mercerie was opened by Parisian-born Rose in 2017 inside Soho furniture gallery Roman and Williams Guild. At the time, the New York Times noted in an early review that the venue gives patrons the unique perk of being a restaurant where you can "order a dish, literally." This is a service Garten is also fond of, as observed by a reporter from Eater, who met with the cookbook mogul at the restaurant for an interview and was told she had purchased a set of everything after her first meal there.

One of my favorite restaurants

La Mercerie describes its menu as "a thoughtful reimagining of French cuisine" and a celebration of "everyday French cooking." Chef Marie-Aude Rose says she draws on her experiences growing up cooking with her grandparents in both Paris and the French countryside as well as her classical culinary training to create her unique recipes. On the menu, patrons will find dishes like the Crêpe Complète, which features buckwheat crêpe, egg sunny side up, paris ham, comté, and crème fraîche, and of course, the Barefoot Contessa's favorite smoked salmon dish, Tartines de saumon fumé au piment d'Espelette, which is made with house-smoked salmon, crème fraîche, espelette, and petite sorrel.

Garten recently reiterated her love for the restaurant and this dish on the Today show, where she shared her recipe inspired by it as a recommendation of a holiday appetizer. During the interview, she cited La Mercerie as "one of my favorite restaurants in New York City," and noted that her spin on the recipe is a smoked salmon and mascarpone croissant sandwich that also makes an easy breakfast-for-dinner treat.