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Opening Hours
Today: 11:30am–11pm
Thurs:
11:30am–11pm
Fri:
11:30am–12am
Sat:
11:30am–12am
Sun:
11:30am–11pm
Mon:
3:30–10:30pm
Tues:
11:30am–11pm
Location
340 West 46th Street
Le Rivage 1 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square

“We do not try to be trendy. We are here for the long run, and that has always been a success for us,” said Paul Denamiel, the owner and chef of Le Rivage, a veritable institution on Restaurant Row. His father, Marcel, opened the restaurant with a vision for transporting patrons to his childhood home in the south of France.

Marcel was raised in a centuries-old house in a secluded village within the Pyrenees mountains. His mother undoubtedly sowed the seeds of his culinary passion, as she did all of her cooking in their hearth, with a traditional cauldron, grill, and bread oven placed over the wood fire. “Everything she produced for the table, she had a hand in nurturing and growing,” Paul said, explaining that his grandmother kept her own rabbits, pigs, and chickens and maintained an extensive garden.

Paul himself was able to indulge in this idyllic lifestyle and be inspired by her expertise, as his father made a point of closing Le Rivage once a year to take the family on a month-long sojourn to France. “A lot of my recipes are aimed at recapturing the flavors that my grandmother introduced me to.” Consequently, Paul describes his bistro’s cuisine as “French comfort food,” which includes a rich boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, and a simple ratatouille.

It seemed inevitable that Paul would become a chef, not only due to his grandmother’s influence, but because all of his family members wound up in the food business. His father had several restaurants in New York, his mother had a creperie upstate, and most of his relatives had their own eateries in the U.S. “This was bred into me.” As such, when Marcel was looking for a successor to lead Le Rivage, Paul, who had an “intensive education” in traditional French cuisine, was the natural choice. “My job was to bring in new recipes while staying true to the terms of the classic French style, from the food, to the decor, to the music.”

After decades of devotion to his businesses, Marcel continues to visit Le Rivage, as well as several other French establishments for which he is a landlord. “My father always said the restaurant came first. That is how you build a legacy, because the restaurant will be there long after we are not.”

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Le Rivage 10 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 11 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 12 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 13 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 14 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 15 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 16 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 17 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 1 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 2 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 3 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 4 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 5 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 6 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 7 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 8 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Le Rivage 9 French Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square

More French nearby

Lost Gem
Chez Josephine 1 Brunch French undefined

Chez Josephine

Manuel Uzhca's story reads like a fairytale. He came to New York from Ecuador when he was seventeen with absolutely nothing to his name and spent time as a dishwasher in a number of restaurants. He met Jean-Claude Baker when both were working at Pronto, an Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side. In 2011, Jean-Claude offered Manuel the position of manager at Chez Josephine — little did Manuel know that only four years later, the restaurant would belong to him. Manuel still recalls the day that Jean-Claude asked him to bring in his passport. Confused by his request, Manuel chose not to comply. Jean-Claude teased Manuel by saying, “If you don't bring your passport, that means you don't want my restaurant. ” The next day, still perplexed, Manuel presented his passport. Jean-Claude marched the two of them to the bank and added Manuel's name to his account, giving him permission to sign checks for the restaurant. Shortly after, Jean-Claude announced that he was retiring, but Manuel did not take him seriously. Jean-Claude then told him that he was leaving and insisted, “I won't be back. ” Jean-Claude proceeded to his attorney's office, changed his will, and went off to the Hamptons. He called Manuel to make sure that everything was in order at the restaurant, and then, very sadly, Jean-Claude took his own life. “I did not believe I owned the place, not even when they showed me the will, ” Manuel declared. Jean-Claude was the last of the children adopted into singer-dancer Josephine Baker’s “Rainbow Tribe, ” created with a mission of racial harmony. He lived and performed with her for a time before making his way to New York and eventually opening this restaurant. It quickly became a haven for Broadway clientele, known for its charming and colorful ambiance as much as its haute cuisine. Since taking over in 2015, Manuel has continued running this famed French restaurant exactly how Jean-Claude left it — paying homage to Josephine Baker, who captured the Parisian imagination in the 1920s and did not let go for decades.

More places on 46th Street

Lost Gem
Margon Restaurant 1 Cuban Breakfast undefined

Margon Restaurant

"We are the oldest restaurant on our block. We try to keep a low profile while doing the best we can, and every day we appreciate that we are living in this country, ” said Guadalupe, who has been married to Rafael Rivas — affectionately known as Papa Bear — for over forty years. The restaurant was founded by three Cuban cousins, who took Rafael under their wing when he came to the U. S. from the Dominican Republic in his twenties. With their encouragement, he started out as a dishwasher, then a lineman, and eventually ran the show up front. When the cousins decided to retire in the mid-1980s but could not find a buyer, Rafael stepped up to the plate and asked if he could take over Margon. With years of hard work and small payments, Rafael has upheld the cousins' tradition of serving Cuban favorites, such as roasted pork, oxtail, fried sweet plantains, and rice and beans to the line of customers that stretches out the door on any given day. Little by little, each member of Rafael's family was brought from the DR to join the fold. Guadalupe — who met her husband while they were both on a tour of the Statue of Liberty — along with Rafael's brother, sister, sister-in-law, and many of their children — are all part of this warm and loving family affair. Papa Bear's smile lights up Margon — and his entire family smiles with him. They work like a well-oiled machine, serving a constant flow of customers ranging from construction workers on break, to ladies meeting for a leisurely lunch, to a gentleman in his eighties who never misses a day to sit down and enjoy his usual. According to Guadalupe, “We have the best customers. They come from all over the world. We have every accent. They visit once and then they tell their friends.

Lost Gem
Barbetta 1 Italian Founded Before 1930 Family Owned undefined

Barbetta

Not only does Barbetta profess to be the oldest restaurant on Restaurant Row, it is also one of the oldest Italian restaurants in New York. Opening its doors in 1906, in four adjoining townhouses built in the late 1800s by the Astor family, Sebastiano Maioglio began his long restaurant career. The emphasis has always been on Italian dishes and wine from the Piemontese region, where he was from. Sebastiano’s daughter, Laura, took over in 1962, and immediately began to remodel the restaurant in the style of 18th C. E. Piemonte. With her passion for collecting art, great sense of personal style, frequent visits in Piemonte, and an art history degree from Bryn Mawr College, it is no wonder that Barbetta’s exquisite interior has become as highly regarded as its food. The dining room demonstrates its old-world opulence, with ornate chandeliers, chairs, and tables meant to evoke a palazzo of the eighteenth century, during Piemonte’s cultural height. The baroque interior serves as more than just a reference to its heritage; it is a part of it. The great chandelier in the main dining room initially came from a palazzo in Torino, where it belonged to the royal family. Laura negotiated to obtain this 18th C. E. chandelier for two years. Other highlights of Barbetta’s extensive collection include the harpsichord in the foyer - crafted in 1631, as well as hanging wall prints from Piemonte - part of a distinguished set crafted in 1682. Items that could not be authentic, such as the numerous chairs and barstools, are reproductions of museum pieces that were specifically chosen by Laura to be reproduced in Italy. The garden, available for dining in the summer, holds trees dating back over a century ago, and, in line with the interior, holds the atmosphere of refined European aristocracy. Barbetta, while serving as a cultural landmark, remains focused on the excellence of its ever-changing list of dishes while serving classics such as risotto and polenta since its founding. Every dish on its menu since 1962 has been approved by Laura, and celebrating its long history and heritage, each menu item is marked with the year it began to be served, while dishes from Piemonte are in red print. Although esteemed for its dishes, Barbetta is also famed for its 72-page wine list, which has won numerous awards. Barbetta has also transformed the Italian dining scene through its numerous examples of “being the first”- from its conception to the present day. A few highlights include its beginning as the first Piemontese restaurant in New York, its status as New York’s first elegant Italian restaurant after its 1962 transformation, as well as its usage of numerous ingredients that at the time, were not commercially available in America and which had to be specifically imported by them from Italy. A particular example of one of these imported ingredients is white truffles. Years ago, Barbetta’s own truffle-hunting dogs became so well known that they were asked to perform a demonstration at Carnegie Hall in 1992. Barbetta is also unique in its emphasis on low sugar and low salt dishes - Laura even decided that Barbetta would smoke its own salmon to ensure it would not be too salty. Laura described Barbetta as “an institution, much more than a restaurant, ” due to the extensive culture that has been built around it and that it has created. The description as “much more than a restaurant” struck us as particularly apt, due to Barbetta’s long list of famous regulars - from The Rolling Stones to Jacklyn Kennedy - its exceptionally elegant and unusually spacious interior, variety of phenomenal food, and historical significance.

Lost Gem
Joe Allen 1 American Brasseries undefined

Joe Allen

Joe Allen, founded in 1965, is the archetypal post-theater restaurant. With one of the longer histories on Restaurant Row, Joe Allen has been serving classic American cuisine in a brasserie setting since I was a little girl. I was always happy to come here with my parents and be able to order a hamburger rather than having to go out for a fancy meal. Mr. Allen - who also owns Orso, an Italian restaurant next door – had an initial concept to provide a comfortable, dynamic atmosphere with good food. And while the restaurant continues to serve some of the best comfort food around, spending time at night in the bar area, shows Joe Allen's real appeal. The high energy level from the post-theater crowd is contagious. The manager explained to us on one visit that they are the first phone call that people make after they have secured their seats for the next Broadway show. And, while he remained hesitant to divulge names, he shared how many actors and actresses have continued over the years to head immediately to Joe Allen after they perform - "here, " he elaborated "you're surrounded by theater, and we do all we can to promote that culture. " I can attest to the numerous actors who grace their tables, as I have had the pleasure of meeting a few over the years, as well as a highlight one evening when Barbara Walters sat right next to me. It is hard to say something new about Joe Allen, so long has it been a staple for theater goers. While the menu remains updated and contemporary, Joe Allen does not take any risks. Rather, it thrives on its reputation among patrons based on its long tradition of casual dining. Seeing the last of the pre-theater crowd during our visit, we were struck by how Joe Allen seemed appropriate equally for a quick burger and glass of wine in half an hour before a show, or a long, late into the night dinner where no one wants to head home.