Le Madeleine is being Evicted
We are sad to read in both the New York Times and other places that after nearly 30 years, Le Madeleine is being evicted from it's 43rd Street location (directly across the street from the more famous ESCA).
We were introduced to the Le Madeleine by someone in the wine industry who remarked how dedicated the place has been to wine, so much so it has been awarded the Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence multiple times. And the wine list has indeed been strong with outstanding fairly priced wines. Most are French, but the other wines are outstanding examples of New World wines. An outstanding local selection is Grapes of Roth Merlot from Long Island winemaker Roman Roth priced at only two times the retail price.
The décor is classic French bistro with a wonderful year-round garden area. The place is bright during the day and nicely lighted in the evening.
With recent chefs including Bruce Beaty and now executive chef Fabian Pauta, the restaurant has tended to be more modern in its cuisine than the classic bistro/café one would expect from its décor. The menu is a balance of classic French bistro choices and many American favorites. By using local products the kitchen prepares interesting dishes that are full of flavor.
They may be open through this weekend, so you may want to stop by and say goodbye. Hopefully they will relocate and be even better.
Wow. My parents brought me to Le Madeleine for dinner after taking me to see my first Broadway show (Annie), about 27 years ago. I've only been back once since then, I think. But, clearly, it was not a lack of patronage that hurt them. Times are definitely changing in this city.
This is sad but hardly an isolated case. Park Bistro faced the same situation, i.e., a building coming down to make way for yet another condo. :-( However, P.B.'s owners accepted it and, before closing, leased another space just a couple of blocks south. It took 6 months to get the new place up and running, but, happily, they are back with a slightly new name, quite different ambiance, and food that is better than ever.
Iirc, the owner of Le Madeleine had his eye on a location down the street from the current one but said he didn't have the financial resources to re-open there. Frankly, one doesn't have to have a legal education to know that his fight was doomed from the start since a landlord has every right to do with his property as he sees fit. Instead of wasting precious financial resources, he would have been better off husbanding those resources in order to open elsewhere. It really will be a shame if his own actions mean that, unlike Park (Avenue) Bistro, Le Madeleine will become history. :-(
This is really, really sad. Definitely my favorite place in midtown whenever I wanted a "real" restaurant experience - wonderful food and wine, but almost as important, some of the friendliest and most competent service I've experienced in this city, in the most charming room in the city. I just don't think it can be replaced.
With all the new, hot, latest, etc. places in NY, Le Madeleine has been my longstanding hangout, always friendly, always reliable and always a great bargain for the quality of food. And I agree totally with you regarding the wine selections...
This is indeed bad news, and I, too, hope they re-open in a better spot, and that whatever is built to replace them is a total failure.