Le Rivage

By Erik Mathes

The French initiated the first official culinary movement over a century ago with Auguste Escoffier’s brilliance and attention to detail leading the way; today, his recipes live on at Le Rivage on Restaurant Row. Executive Chef and owner Paul Denamiel is the third generation of chefs to run one of his family’s French restaurants in NYC, and his gastronomic precision with classical French cuisine can be tasted in all of his dishes. From expertly spiced duck terrine and peppery country-style pork pâté (perfectly paired with Côtes de Provence Sables d’Azur Rosé) to lightly fried frogs’ legs with thick garlic sauce and buttery herbed escargot, simplicity and tradition reign supreme on Le Rivage’s menu. Try the celery root julienne in mustard rémoulade, French onion soup with melted Gruyère, and frisée with bacon and hard-boiled egg to start your meal off with explosive flavors and a textural treat. Then dig into the coquille, featuring tender bay scallops, baby shrimp, mushrooms, and onions in a savory cream sauce so exquisite you’ll be scraping it up with shreds of crusty mini baguette. With so much to love on this menu—and plenty of interesting proteins to sample for “adventurous” eaters—you absolutely can’t go wrong.

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eye for design
Rustic French style is what Le Rivage is all about, from the dark wood and brick walls to the white tablecloths and paintings of the French Riviera and countryside lining the walls. Candlelight and fresh flowers adorn each table, and mood lighting suggests the ambience of a cozy cottage in the middle of rural France.

superior service
The service is spot on (read: no snooty attitude), so leave your preconceived notions about French restaurants at home. Wine pairing pros help to make each course even more marvelous with expert libation suggestions, and servers are attentive without going overboard.



11:30 AM–11 PM daily

price range

$22 (entrée with house salad) to $25 (prix fixe three-course menu; available after 7:30 PM)