Le Jardinier Returns To Midtown Manhattan After Pandemic Closure
One of Manhattan’s last Michelin starred restaurants on pandemic pause is reopening.
September 8th, acclaimed chef Alain Verzeroli and The Bastion Collection will reopen Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardinier, a modern ‘greenhouse’ in the heart of Midtown Manhattan (610 Lexington Ave., at 53rd Street).
Less than a year after a highly celebrated opening in May 2019, Le Jardinier temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now returns more than two years later with its seasonal, vegetable-forward menu set in a refreshingly light and airy space filled with greenery.
Chef de Cuisine Andrew Ayala and Corporate Pastry Chef Salvatore Martone are back at the helm after leading Le Jardinier through its first opening two years ago and are now joined by award-winning bartender Ruben Rolon, who recently received the Michelin Guide’s 2022 Florida Exceptional Cocktails Award for his beverage program at Le Jardinier Miami.
At Le Jardinier, vegetables play a starring role in every dish on the menu. Rooted in classic French technique, Chef Verzeroli has created a menu utilizing the highest quality produce, seasonal ingredients, sustainable seafood and fresh herbs. This approach is inspired by the almost two decades Verzeroli spent in Japan immersing himself in a culture that celebrates hyper-seasonality and the true rhythm of nature.
“We can’t wait to welcome guests back into the restaurant,” says Chef Verzeroli. “Now more than ever, we feel that it’s important to share our initial vision for the restaurant—to provide an escape from the noise of the city and create an atmosphere that allows people to feel closer to nature both through our food and design.”
Dinner is offered à la carte or as a Seasonal Expression tasting menu and changes with the seasons. Executed by Chef de Cuisine Andrew Ayala, offerings include dishes like Marinated Heirloom Beets with smoked labneh, pomegranate and lime; Cured Fluke with butternut squash, green grapes and royal kaluga caviar; and Wagyu Striploin with brussels sprouts and horseradish and turnip mousse. Corporate Pastry Chef Salvatore Martone rounds out the menu with elegant desserts such as The Butterfly, a yuzu delicate mousse with raspberry compote and pistachio sablé; Valrhona Guanaja Dark Chocolate Crémeux with salty caramel sabayon and a selection of Plant Based Ice Creams: dark chocolate, pistachio, and coffee.
The cocktail program developed by Rolon draws from the same ethos as the vegetable driven menu, featuring high-quality craft spirits and fortified wines with an emphasis on stunning presentation and exceptional taste. Drinks include the Caffe Corretto, a Carajillo-inspired twist on the Negroni made with french gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, Liquor 43 and cold brew coffee liqueur; and the Garonne, a French twist on the Pisco Sour—made with eau de vie de raisin, crème de pomme verte, Bordeaux wine cordial, lime, egg white and bitters—that can be made vegan upon request. There is also a selection of innovative non-alcoholic cocktails made with teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, fresh herbs, and house-made bitter tinctures. The wine list focuses on small producers with responsible farming practices and an unwavering dedication to quality.
Designed by Joseph Dirand, the renowned architect’s first commercial project, the 62-seat, light-filled space elicits the feeling of dining in a serene, lush indoor garden. Interior elements are one-of-a-kind, with unique green-marble walls and floors, custom made furniture, and a composition of plants and vertical louvers adorning the floor to ceiling windows to match the vegetable and seafood driven menu.
Le Jardinier will be open with dinner service five days a week Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm – 11:00pm. Reservations can be made through Resy.