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Upper East Side French Restaurants: D'Orsay

D'Orsay Restaurant in Manhattan - A French Brasserie on the UES

d'orsay restaurant french restaurants ues upper east side nycUES Neighborhood / Upper East Side Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.

It was the night before Thanksgiving as I hurriedly made my way up Lexington Avenue along Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was cold and drizzling a mix of rain and sleet as I finally arrived at d’Orsay French restaurant.

The name, d’Orsay, comes from Paris where there’s a Museum named Musee d’Orsay. In tracing back the name, I found it was attributed to a Count d’Orsay circa the early 1800’s who was considered a ‘man of fashion’. The Palais d’Orsay previously occupied the site of the Museum which was a beaux arts train station erected around the turn into the 20th century. D’Orsay is a surname associated with a small town just outside of Paris, and the name meant that you were ‘from Orsay’.

The restaurant has a warm feel to it. High ceilings, a long open wooden bar and solid ceramic tile floors welcomed me in from the cold night. It was to be a late dinner, so the hubbub of rush hour / primetime had passed. Most folks had settled into their repast some time before I arrived.

I saw my dining companions seated in the windowed dining alcove along 75th Street. As they were close relatives who had started without me, I felt relieved of the need to apologize for a belated arrival. The waiting staff was attentive, without being intrusive, as we settled into the comfortable Upper East Side brasserie.

Click here to read the rest of our report on D'Orsay French Restaurant on the UES.


Upper East Side French Restaurants: D'Orsay

D'Orsay Restaurant in Manhattan - A French Brasserie on the UES

upper east side restaurants manhattanUES Neighborhood / Upper East Side Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC. Continued.

D’Orsay is a French brasserie and the menu provided a mix of traditional French fare alongside some modern dining options. For the main entrée I ordered the Filet de Fletan en Choucroute, which merci beaucoup, was translated into English as Double Soaked Bacon Halibut with Sauerkraut and a Mustard Sauce. One member of the table ordered the Wednesday Special which was the Prime Rib Carved Table Side which included sides of asparagus, wild mushrooms and Dauphine Potatoes, while another ordered Poulet Roti “Tout Simplement” which is the Corn Fed Chicken Simply Roasted with French Fries. The fourth dish was the Hanger Steak with Pommes Frites [French Fries].

A bottle of Saint Emilion Bordeaux wine was ordered to accompany the repast.

And so the wine arrived and the conversation flowed as we started catching up on each others’ lives ... including family tidbits and holiday weekend plans.

D'Orsay Restaurant - Casual Restaurants on the Upper East Side

manhattan french restaurants uesIt wasn’t long before the appetizers arrived. I had ordered a Butternut Squash soup. The soup was a flavorful, textured, granular broth that floated gently over my tongue before making its way in. It had a purity to it, as neither sweet, nor salt, nor herbs or spices were added to distract one from enjoying one of life’s simple pleasures – a warm, vegetable-mild, natural soup.

Someone had ordered a communal plate of appetizers, but I was so immersed in the conversation and my soup, that I paid little attention to it. And thus both the soup and the plate of appetizers escaped my camera.

The restaurant patrons around us seemed to be enjoying the relaxed mood of the casual French restaurant as much as we were. Work for the week was done, and prepping for the Thanksgiving Holiday requires as much or as little effort as folks demand of themselves. This year most of us had decided to lower the bar, rather than to raise it, and hence the relaxed jovial mood.

UES French Brasseries - Appetizers

ues restaurants upper east side restaurants nycThe wine kept flowing and soon the appetizer plates had been cleared, making way for the main entrees. The sole had soul, and was a soft, dense, gently-buttered delight. The serving was generous as I slowly made my way back and forth between the slightly dilled sauerkraut and the nearly imperceptible sweetness of the tender halibut. From time to time I cut into the boiled potatoes that accompanied the meal.

The lumberjack who had ordered the Prime Rib quietly exited the conversation for a while. His mastodon molars tore into the sumptuous, fleshy pink portion of beef that sat on the plate in front of him. He rejoined the conversation after devouring what he smilingly described as an excellent entrée, and then he made his way into the al dente asparagus, wild mushrooms and the Dauphine potatoes.

The chicken dish with the French fries was greeted by the two younger members of the group. They told me that the chicken was moist and yummy and, as for the French fries, they had to fight off their older dining companions as I can attest to the fact that they were worth the fight.

Manhattan French Restaurants - Main Entrees

d'osay restaurant upper east side ues manhattanThe Hanger steak entrée was well received. The diner told us that she enjoyed the tender hanger steak as well as the accompanying béarnaise sauce. Her dish also included a side of French fries.

What kind of year had we all had? Good enough. And the consensus was that it was definitively better than last year. The four day break was now upon us, and while we could see a forbidding weather storm outside, we were comfortably nestled inside. We had plenty of space around us, so we didn’t have to listen to the other patron’s holiday conversations, and vice versa.

As mentioned at the outset the waiting staff did a nice job. They had picked up on the fact that one of the members of our dinner party had just had a memorable occasion. So they treated us to a plate of cookies which was augmented by a couple of desserts ordered by the junior members of the group.

Desserts on the Upper East Side - D'Orsay Restaurant

The chocolate mousse left the table in a hurry, aided by five out of five spoons. It was a light, chocolaty gel that melted slowly upon impact. The Floating Island was also popular. It was covered in a caramel sauce, topped with almonds while beneath lie a meringue delight.

french restaurants brasseries upper east side ues manhattanAnd so it was as we finished our meal. The wine had kept pace with the repast and all were coming to a symphonic close. We prepped for our respective voyages back out into the elements, and settled the bill which was a bit north of $300 including the tip [$60 per person for dinner including wine].

Entrees run between $25 and $39, while appetizers are priced in the teens, and wine by the bottle runs from $44 to $308 with most priced between $50 and $100. We all enjoyed the meal, the service and the dining experience.

As I left, I got the impression we would be returning to d’Orsay French Restaurant on the Upper East Side UES of Manhattan sometime in the near future.

Bon Appetit.

This map will show the location of D'Orsay, one of the leading French restaurants on the Upper East Side UES and this link will provide the contact information for D'Orsay French restaurant on the UES Upper East Side.




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