Georgette Farkas, the lovely and gracious owner of the eponymous French rotisserie restaurant that bears her name, said it best, when she told my friend, Eliot, my son, L.J. and myself, “This kind of food had become so uncool, that it may be cool again.” The truth is, when prepared with the quality and skill that Chef Chad Brauze and his team provide at Rotisserie Georgette, a restaurant with food as delicious as this has, should never, ever be “uncool” even if there may be times during which it may not seem like the shiniest new toy. Rotisseries certainly aren’t new, but they are effective at cooking delicious food, especially when the rotisseries used are the same French models used by Joel Robuchon and they roast with a searing 750ºF heat. They are also quick. It takes only about a half an hour to roast a whole chicken as it revolves in one of these beauties.
Our meal started with a couple of off-menu gifts, the duck liver mousse with duck consommé gelee and a bowl of crispy duck skin cracklings, decadent and delicious beginnings.
A bottle of Cote du Rhone set the stage for some good sipping to wash down what was to come and there was plenty.
The heirloom cherry tomato confit was sensational with sweet, bright tomato flavors, a bit of basil, caperberries for a touch of salt and cheese to round it all out.
As meat centric a restaurant as this basically is, the quality fare is not limited to that. With the tomato confit, broccoli rabe with romesco, roasted corn on the cob and trumpet mushrooms, one need not eat meat at all at Rotisserie Georgette and the experience would still be stellar. Indeed, the trumpet mushroom was beautifully crusted, juicy and meaty in its own right. The corn evoked the best elotes or Mexican grilled corn on the cob with its lime accented aioli and grated cheese.
The rotisserie roasted black bass was outstanding in its own right. Filleted after cooking and served with niçoise olives, thyme and lemon it brought the soul satisfying juicy simplicity that well cooked, quality fish deserves. This was probably my favorite dish of the meal.
While the fish soared to great heights, so did the meat dishes we had. The lamb was well seasoned, well-cooked and delicious, accented with garlic, lemon-yogurt sauce and shaved fennel.
The “Poule de Luxe” is aptly named. A whole chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms and served with seared foie gras and its own jus, spoke of Belle Epoque decadence. Surely we are living at a great time for lovers of roast chicken and this is a fine representation of that noble dish. Unfortunately, the other grand bird that gets roasted on the restaurant’s roaring rotisseries, whole duck a l’orange, is only available on the dinner menu. Next time!
The frites were crisp and tasty and would satisfy most lovers of the same, though in retrospect, if I was going to indulge in the carb load that comes with potatoes, I should have tried some of the more interesting tuber choices on the menu such as the rotisserie roasted potatoes or baked potatoes with a crisped skin, stuffed with parmesan mashed potatoes to complete the delightful decadence of this classic style of food.
As might be expected with all of this rich food shared amongst three of us, we were stuffed. Still, we couldn’t leave without trying at least one dessert to share. The one we chose was, imagine this, a dessert cocktail. The “Brown Bull Float” topped a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream with a siphoned over cocktail of beer barrel aged bourbon, Carpano Antiqua Formula Averna, vanilla and bitters.
Rotisserie Georgette may be a bit of a throwback, but this kind of nostalgia is always welcome, especially when it incorporates the contemporary sensibility and style of a chef like Chad Brauze and the class of a restaurateur like Georgette Farkas. It’s accessible, delicious food in a lovely environment with a nice dollop of luxury. It shouldn’t be and it is not a surprise that the simple revolution of food around a heating source can produce such delicious results. I welcome its return as utilized at Rotisserie Georgette. Vive le rotisserie! Vive le revolution!