LE BOTANISTE: A PRESCRIPTION FOR HEARTY, HEALTHY FAST SLOW FOOD
Gorgeous lighting at Brasserie Cognac
The lighter side of French fare at Brasserie Cognac.
Courtesy of Brasserie Cognac; courtesy of Springbone Kitchen; courtesy of Le Botaniste
French food has long been synonymous with rich, heavy dishes. And while there’s much on Brasserie Cognac’s menu to satisfy any appetite, the local foodie favorite offers lighter options packed with flavor. Chef Luis Gutierrez oversees menus at Brasserie Cognac’s Midtown and Upper East Side locations, and takes a nimble approach to dishes such as the tuna tarte, prepared with Grade-A sashimi tuna, pickled ginger and wasabi, and pan-seared sea scallops with celery root and green apple purees and Chardonnay
sauce. The All-Day Menu features the brasserie’s signature chicken salad, made with napa cabbage, cranberries and a basil vinaigrette. Gutierrez says the spinach and avocado salad—with roasted pine nuts, thinly sliced Parmesan and white balsamic dressing—is a favorite with ladies who lunch at the Upper East Side location, where Tina Fey, Steve Martin and P. Diddy have all dined. And the gougères (warm cheese puffs), a French classic, are so light and airy, they’re dangerous. cognacrestaurant.com —N.K.
BONE BROTH AND BEYOND
Springbone Kitchen’s philosophy is simple: “Healthy food is not complicated, and it doesn’t have to taste like cardboard,” says Jordan Feldman, who, along with friend Sam Eckstein, opened the nutritious eatery in the West Village in 2016. Last month, the duo introduced a second Springbone Kitchen to the Financial District. “We look at the things that we want to eat— free-range, grass-fed meat and organic vege-
A cup of Liquid Gold tables—and we use the best ingredients we can find,” Feldman says. The main draw has always been bone broth: classic chicken and beef and a seaweed-mushroom for vegans, but also cups of Liquid Gold (chicken with organic coconut milk and turmeric) and
New Roots (beef with ginger and garlic). Bone broth contains a myriad of good-for-you ingredients including collagen and hyaluronic acid; benefits include stronger joints, glowing skin, gut health and a strong immune system. Bonus points: The FiDi location features a broth called Bad Hombre (classic chicken broth, Spanish rice, chicken and salsa verde), with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the American Civil Liberties Union. springbone. com —N.K.
“Let food be thy medicine” is the credo of Le Botaniste, an apothecary-styled, plantbased organic eatery and wine bar, which just opened its third Manhattan location, on 43rd Street and Third Avenue, in April (following spots at 833 Lexington Avenue and 127 Grand Street). From the founder of Le Pain Quotidien, Alain Coumont, the “fast slow food” concept began in Belgium in 2016. Organic, plant-based dishes, slow-cooked or raw (never grilled or fried), are paired with natural wines. “It’s more like a home-cooked meal” than a sit-down restaurant experience, explains managing director Laurent Francois. Serving stations (manned by attendants in white lab coats) offer cold appetizers and spreads like green pea hummus, a caviar of beets, a coconut ceviche, and hot main courses, such as the rich and tasty Tibetan Mama (brown rice with coconut-peanut butter curry sauce, steamed greens and kimchee). For anyone still reluctant to try vegan meals, Francois suggests starting with the tangy Bolognese sauce (Pasta al Mafiosi). The reactions, he notes, are unanimous: “Oh, wow! I wasn’t expecting that.” Beyond the hearty dishes, the eco-conscious operation is also something to rave about: “It’s a very greenand-lean concept. We don’t generate much waste, and the waste that we do generate is compostable. Our carbon footprint is very minimal,” says Francois. “We are not trying to preach, but what we are doing is actually good—for you and for the planet.” lebotaniste.us —R.R. A plant-based smorgasbord