By Jenn Grossman.
New York is a city that’s constantly changing; one day there’s a laundromat around the corner from your apartment, and the next day it’s an Italian Bistro. Every day, restaurants and boutiques are closing while new ones flourish, and neighborhoods never stay quite the same for too long.
There is, however, one restaurant that’s managed to stay thriving in New York; Le Rivage is a traditional French restaurant located on the historic Restaurant Row, in the heart of the theater district, and it’s been there for over three decades. How has it stayed afloat among all the hustle and bustle? It’s all thanks to superb French food prepared by third-generation award-winning owner and Executive Chef, Chef Paul Denamiel.
The Denamiels have owned and operated Le Rivage for over 30 years, so Chef Paul has inherited the family tradition and quality. As a father of three and a son working alongside his father every day, he holds family in the highest esteem; he also values his culinary masterpieces. Chef Paul, who has quite the celebrity following, has cooked for the likes of actor Robert De Niro and fashion designer Michael Kors—but he hasn’t gained such a prestigious following by resting on his laurels. While he’s a classically-trained chef who grew up in his family’s restaurants, he understands that cooking is an art, and that in order to keep his family legacy alive, he’ll have to create new and exciting dishes that incorporate modern influences into the traditional French cuisine his family holds so dearly.
Enter the French Onion Soup Burger, Chef Paul’s signature dish. The burger, which won the award for best burger at the NYC Food & Wine Burger Bash in 2013, perfectly encompasses Chef Paul’s cooking style. The dish takes a classic French comfort food, French Onion Soup, and puts a modern spin on it by turning it into a burger—of course using the highest quality ingredients, including a signature Pat LaFrieda beef blend. It’s dishes like this that bring new customers into Le Rivage daily, while classic standouts, such as the decadent Escargots de Bourgogne, Baked Seafood Crepe, and House Made Quiche, keep people coming back year after year.
Chef Paul has even used his creative, delicious burger as a secret weapon to compete against Bobby Flay in an episode of Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.” Le Rivage is a classic French restaurant that has managed to stay relevant in New York since 1984, which is a huge feat. Even with Chef Paul’s inventive cooking style, the ambiance stays the same, with a cozy, “French Country” atmosphere, fresh flowers on the tables, and a warmth that comes from being family-owned and lovingly preserved. Chef Paul values tradition, and does an incredible job keeping his restaurant timeless, while also keeping the menu exciting with delightful, innovative options.
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