Despite all the hurdles 2020 presented, La Grande Boucherie managed to make a splashy debut in Midtown Manhattan, boasting the biggest year-round outdoor dining area in New York City, among other fineries.
The French-style brasserie stretches along the entire block of the 6½ Avenue of the Americas development. The art-nouveau-inspired restaurant spans 5,500 square feet and seats more than 400 diners in the dining rooms, bar and mezzanine areas and an additional 150 on the year-round heated and covered patio.
Designed by Julien Legeard of The Prestige Group and owner Emil Stefkov, La Grande Boucherie takes full advantage of the soaring space’s classical architecture. A grand arcade offers year-round outdoor dining with a heated floor system below half-inch mosaic Carrera Marble tiles. Monumental brass chandeliers glow above, while sconces adorn the façade of the restaurant, bringing a touch of intimate lighting to the grand space. The arcade lighting fixtures are reminiscent of early 20th century Paris. Adding an organic element, potted cherry blossom trees sit along each column of the restaurant’s exterior.
Inside, a 48-foot pewter bar greets guests. The bar was made using a traditional tin technique by a third-generation French craftsman. A 150-year-old vaulted decorative ceiling sets the stage and prominently features a glass skylight that once graced a private estate next to the Opera Garnier in Paris but was salvaged before demolition. Fern and acanthus plant motifs found in the antique hand-painted glass are replicated throughout the space.
From the bar, the restaurant splits into two zones, each a reinterpretation of early 20th-century Parisian dining. On the north side is the casual dining area and on the south side, through stained glass doors, is the formal dining room. Both sides include mezzanine seating. Both sides also incorporate subway tile and artwork that recalls Paris in the 1920s. The casual dining area offers a warm atmosphere that includes a charcuterie bar, oak walls and floors, and booth seating.
The vaulted plaster ceiling was hand finished with a custom gold patina effect. More than 100 custom lamps and chandeliers warm the space with champagne-colored lights. All metal railings and balconies were traditionally made in France, in the art nouveau style, inspired by one of the most iconic buildings in Paris, La Samaritaine. Handrails are made of French oak and custom brass trim.
Images courtesy of Melissa Hom