“The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be,” I peculiarly hummed – yes I admit to humming – as I wandered past celebrated midtowner, LCB J.J. Rachou. The restaurant formerly known as La Cote Basque has been “closed for renovation” for over a week. One of the last French haunts to embrace such classics as pike quenelles, vichyssoise, escargot and good old, artery-clogging cream sauces, the aged space received a much-needed makeover in 2004. No doubt an attempt to morph itself into a hipper dining destination for the 21st century, it was also renamed LCB J.J. Rachou. Yet even with the reinvention, it lacked a certain joie de vivre that had come to be expected from the elegant bistro, recalling a Broadway show that had overstayed its run.
While the present signage out front reads “Closed for renovation” – with no signs of visible life inside the presently dark space – I might wager otherwise. But seeing as that’s well-marked Deathwatch territory, I respectfully leave that judgement call to the wise men of Eater. Whatever the future may hold for LCB J.J. Rachou, it will undoubtedly leave fond memories in its wake. As for its fate, the verdict remains out…
66 West 55th Street
Until we eat again,
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