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Frenchette’s Killer Team Is Opening a Big New Restaurant on Rockefeller Center Plaza

They’re taking over 18,000 square feet right on the plaza

Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr stand in front of Frenchette
Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr
Louise Palmberg/Eater

The chefs behind wildly popular and critically acclaimed modern French brasserie Frenchette are getting into the Midtown dining game with a restaurant in Rockefeller Center.

Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson will open a third, unnamed restaurant inside the soon-to-close, 18,000-square-foot Brasserie Ruhlman space, which has been at the prime 45 Rockefeller Plaza address for decades.

Details are minimal on the new project — including concept — but Nasr and and Hanson are known for their inventive updates on the classic French bistro genre. In a statement in a press release, they call Rockefeller Center “the perfect setting for the energetic, bouillon and brasserie style restaurants we like to sample from.”

Nasr and Hanson worked for years at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, and the Tribeca bistro they opened in 2018, Frenchette, has since racked up accolades ranging from Eater NY’s and the James Beard Awards’ best new restaurant of the year to three stars from the New York Times. Popular dishes include duck frites and lobster with curry butter, all served alongside an entirely natural wine list. They also recently bought legacy Upper East Side French restaurant Le Veau d’Or, with plans to renovate the space and menu and reopen in the spring.

Rockefeller Center has been upping its food game as of late — a big change after decades of more staid American and French venues. Ruhlmann, Sea Grill, Rock Center Cafe, and Cucina & Co. are all closing in early 2020, while hipper fast-casual brands Fuku, Milk Bar, Van Leeuwen, By Chloe, Black Seed, and Sweetgreen have all moved in.

Nasr and Hanson’s new project is expected spring 2021. Stay tuned for more details.


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