I’m embarrassed it took me this long to write about the fabulous dinner I enjoyed at Sel et Poivre. Trust me, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm! Frequent readers will know this is my third time writing about this restaurant! The difference this time is that I can now write about this popular Upper East Side French bistro with a comparison to the bistros I’ve been to in France. In the past 6 months I’ve been to Paris about half a dozen times. Each trip has been filled with many meals. Some highs and definitely some lows. I will say Sel et Poivre rivals some of the best bistros I’ve been to in Paris. The highlight of the meal and the easiest to draw a comparison to my Parisian meals was the Escargot.
A half dozen succulent snails bathed in olive oil and herbs. They were simply divine! I would travel to Sel et Poivre just for the snails. I also enjoyed the light appetizer of Mussels.
The restaurant offers two styles mariniere or a la provencal. Of course, a la Provencal was the preferred. It was delightful! A light broth with flavorful fennel. It took a lot of restraint to keep myself from bringing the bowl to my lips. The pomme frites were crispy on the outside perfectly soft on the inside and well seasoned. The French really know how to do justice to potatoes. The French green bean salad was a pleasant surprise.
I must admit, I’m not one for salads and I don’t really care for green beans. Yet, the way this was prepared, I had to hold myself back from devouring my neighbor’s plate. The contrast of the crunchy carrots and the green beans. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the Roasted Chicken.
I often find that ordering chicken at a restaurant is a waste. Sel et Poivre surprised me with a flavorful and moist cut of white meat. The accompaniment of mashed potatoes was creamy and light.
There’s a reason I continue to go back to Sel et Poivre. Aside from the delightful selection I sampled on my most recent visit, they also have many of the classic French dishes you expect to see including Duck a l’orange and Grilled Chicken Paillard. The service is beyond measure. The staff is incredibly attentive, never letting a cup run empty. The patrons mostly look like repeat customers and I can certainly understand why we all keep going back.