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European Restaurateur Octavian Sasman Makes NYC Debut With 57 Belle House

The team includes veterans of Joanna's and Le Cirque.

[The bar at 57 Bell House]
[The bar at 57 Bell House]

After opening nine bistros in Bucharest and one in Amsterdam, all called Mon Cher, Octavian Sasman has finally come to New York, converting a large space at 151 East 57th Street to the brasserie, 57 Belle House. "The name Mon Cher was taken here,'' he explains. Sasman hired two New York veterans - chef Sergio Jerez, who was chef at Joanna's on Madison Avenue for 17 years, and Nicolas Nitri, longtime catering manager of Le Cirque.

Apart from brasserie staples like tartine du jour, warm goat cheese salad and roast chicken, Jerez has some more unique offerings such as New Zealand lamb marinated in honey, mint, and red wine; and veal with pomegranate. Sasman is also focusing on healthy options. "We are offering a lot of lighter dishes and are very conscious of the ingredients,'' he maintains. "We are giving people full plates and full stomachs without sauces.''