This week, Pete Wells discovers a six-month-old establishment that has the feel of a "classic Manhattan restaurant." Its name is The Simone, and it has zero web presence and only 11 tables. The proprietors are husband-and-wife duo Chip Smith and Tina Vaughn, who previously operated a small restaurant in North Carolina. Once upon a time, Smith trained under Patrick O'Connell and Jean-Louis Palladin. Wells is a big fan of his French-influenced cuisine:
Mr. Smith's main courses often pair two takes on a protein, one very good and the other exceptional: a juicy roasted chicken breast with fried croquettes of dark meat, ham and foie gras so hard to ignore that dinner came to a dead stop while we passed them around; a drum of braised lamb shank with a single rib daubed with a Moroccan spice blend that landed with a menacing uppercut of heat; a crisped boneless duck thigh with thin slices of breast that were pink right out to the edges and almost surreally tender.He also loves the goat cheese soufflé, the house-made charcuterie, and the salmon tartare. Three stars. If this sounds appealing to you, consider calling now before the book really fills up: 212-772-8861.
· Lessons From the Old School [NYT]
· All Coverage of The Simone [~ENY~]
[Photo: The Sample Menu on The Simone's site]