BWW Features: LE PERIGORD Celebrates 50 Years in NYC
Swiss native Georges Briguet opened Le Perigord it 50 years ago at 405 E. 52nd St. and has been greeting his guests for the majority of the restaurant's time in New York City. Now, he is greeting the grandchildren of his first customers, regaling them with his stories and flattering them with his unparalleled charm.
And throughout those 50 years, while food and restaurant culture trends came and went, Georges stayed the course with Le Perigord. As he often says, "It's the kind of food they have always eaten in France."
The décor has been refreshed over the years, but someone walking into Le Perigord today who hadn't been there for many years would recognize the same understated, subtly sophisticated and certainly comfortable ambience. Until very recently, Georges even insisted on jacket for gentlemen making this a place that still values dressing nicely for dinner.
Throughout the last 50 years, while being hailed as one of the best French restaurants in New York City, Le Perigord has been a real neighborhood destination. It is a spot where Sutton and Beekman Place residents could count on Georges remembering their cocktail and table of choice, where they felt genuinely welcomed and where Georges would make them feel special. Many neighbors even refer to Le Perigord as their dining room.
United Nation's delegates, many of whom also live in the neighborhood, also rely on Le Perigord. Few other restaurants can claim multiple ambassadors in the dining room on nights when the UN is in session.
Le Perigord has a fascinating history. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had the first photo taken of them in the United States at the restaurant after their scandalous affair became known. Decades later, Taylor and Burton's corner booth became a favorite of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
To celebrate its five decades, Le Perigord is offering a special four-course menu, http://www.leperigord.com/about-le-perigord/le-perigord-celebrates-50th-anniversary-special-prix-fixe-menu/ featuring some of the classic French dishes for which it has been known over the years. The likes of Pike quenelles in lobster and Champagne sauce, house made foie gras with Champagne Cognac, Lobster Thermidor, Beef Wellington with sauce Perigourdine and Duck a l'orange.
That menu celebrates 50 years of family and the Briguet family's stewardship. Georges's wife Marie-Therese has always played a role, arranging the flowers and handling bookkeeping, while her brother was a longtime bartender. Georges's and Marie-Therese's son, Jean-Luc, an architect, has directed the ongoing refurbishment and other son Christopher has been working by their side on-site for more than decade, primed to carry on the legacy. Then there is their extended family, with at least one waiter having been with them for most of those 50 years, and all the neighbors who have learned about French food and fine dining at Le Perigord.
Le Perigord is located at 405 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022. You can call them at (212) 755-6244 or visit their web site, www.leperigord.com.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Le Perigord