La Mercerie, New York.

December 2022

This superficially classy French place is a large venue on a corner in South Soho near Canal Street. There are lots of tables in a covered and heated outdoor patio along the sidewalk which we see in lots of places in town.

Our hostess was anxious but accommodating seating us at a corner table. Server arrived quickly and was a seasoned relaxed young guy with a sense of humour. We were here for lunch on the day of our anniversary and didn’t want to eat too much as our big dinner was set for this evening. We started with a “grandmere” egg dish that somehow sounded like it was going to be a crouque type of thing but was a little bowl with a couple of lukewarm shelled eggs and some cream sauce, along with small pieces of bread product with a bit of compound butter. Hungry of course we ate it all but the egg whites were pretty well raw and barely warmed.

We shared a main of roast chicken which came with minimal vegetables as deboned breast and portion of thigh. The thigh was delicious and moist but the breast was overcooked.

High point of the lunch was a Rully village white, the cheapest wine on the menu at $85 US, that was a beautifully made Burgundy chardonnay that came at cellar temperature and opened up quickly. This confirms the value of minor Cotes de Beaune village products. Overall with tip this was close to C$300.

This big place does a fair job of Americanized French ambience but the food though interesting and sometimes tasty suffered from what had to be rookie kitchen mistakes. There are so many really terrific ethnic restaurants around here that we would look for another one next time.

Food 8.0, service 9.1, ambience 8.4, value 7.5, peace and quiet 8.2.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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