Johnny Miller/Edge Reps
4–6 Servings

Say bonjour to La Mercerie, New York’s dreamiest restaurant. Situated on a SoHo corner inside the Roman and Williams Guild, this all-day eatery has been setting Francophile hearts aflutter since opening in late 2017. Sunlight streams in through tall windows, baby blue silk-mohair banquettes run the length of the dining area, and buttery croissants shine like jewels in delicate glass cabinets. There’s even a flower shop tucked in beside Marie-Aude Rose’s open kitchen. “It’s like home,” the Paris-born chef says. 

Almost everything in the Guild’s luxe shopping emporium, founded by renowned interior designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, is for sale, from the restaurant’s linen napkins to brass-and-walnut bar carts and white oak platform beds. Thanks to Rose, La Mercerie’s culinary offerings stand out against the merchandise.

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Frequent guests like Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Padma Lakshmi come to feast on favorites such as buckwheat crêpes with egg, ham, and Comté or beef bourguignon served over pasta. 

“This is my neighborhood joint,” says Lakshmi, the Top Chef  host, author, and United Nations goodwill ambassador who has come for a cooking lesson. Rose is showing Lakshmi how to make her grandmother’s potato pie, a beloved family recipe that represents her culinary ethos: artistry, technique, and high-quality raw materials. “I worked in Michelin-starred restaurants — I can make anything,” says Rose, who came to N.Y.C. in 2016 to help her husband, chef Daniel Rose, open Le Coucou, another French hot spot. “But what I want to eat and share with everyone is the taste of each ingredient.” 

With the mise en place laid out, Rose and her glamorous apprentice get to work slicing potatoes and carving half moons into puff pastry. “It’s very pretty in here,” says Lakshmi, gesturing at the glossy green-gray tiles and a custom Athanor stove as La Mercerie staff bustle about prepping for the day. “It looks like this kitchen is for show, but it really hums.”

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“I worked with Robin and Stephen on that,” says Rose. “Chefs want a space that’s easy to work with. I fought for things like more storage.” Lakshmi can relate. “Some of the best cooking I ever did was in my grandmother’s kitchen on a small two-burner stove,” she says. “But in my 40s I finally got to design the kitchen I’ve always wanted.” Lakshmi says she loves spending time cooking with her 9-year-old daughter so much, she designed her home with the kitchen as the centerpiece. “It’s always the best place in the house,” confirms Rose, who cooks with her kids (ages 5 and 7) and husband, mostly on weekends. “It’s important to have moments when you can sit with family, share your food, and share your life.”

Photographed by Johnny Miller. Styling: Stephanie Perez-Gurri. Hair: Antonio Diaz. Makeup: Matin.

For more stories like this, pick up the May issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download on April 19. 

Chef Rose’s Potato Pie

How to Make It

1. Preheat oven to 390°F. 
2. Peel and wash the potatoes. Then slice them about 1⁄₆ inch thick with a mandoline.
3. Put in a large bowl and toss with the salt and pepper.
4. Place one of the puff-pastry circles in a buttered 9- to 10-inch round ceramic pie dish.
5. Spread the potatoes over the puff pastry, flattening them as much as possible until the pile is about 1½ inches high.
6. Brush the sides of the dough with water and cover with the other puff-pastry circle.
7. Pinch both circles together to close the pie. Then carve half moons on the top of the dough.
8. Brush the top with the egg wash.
9. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and cook the pie for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.
10. Take the pie out of the oven. Then cut and set aside a 3-inch circle from the center of the top layer.
11. Pour the crème fraîche inside the pie and replace circle.
12. Place back in the oven for another 12 minutes or until the crème fraîche is melted. Serve with salad.
1 head romaine lettuce, cut, washed, and dried
¼ bunch parsley leaves, washed and dried
1 teaspoon shallots, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Place lettuce in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by mixing the remaining ingredients. Toss with the lettuce. 

Restaurant Source

La Mercerie

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