Where I Ate - Left Bank - West Village NYC

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Laurence & Micheline
Sometimes you happen on a new restaurant from a review in magazine or from word of mouth.  I happened to meet a great, new friend that owns this little gem of a restaurant - Left Bank.  It's situated on a beautiful corner (Greenwich & Perry) in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The owners, Micheline Gaulin and Laurence Edelman are passionate about serving quality (locally sourced, sustainable) food and making their customers experience warmly and friendly.  Because of Laurence and Micheline's dedication Left Bank has grown to have quite a following of regulars.  

I recently caught up with Laurence in the kitchen to ask him some questions about his food and inspiration for his seasonal menus.  FYI, next time you find yourself in NYC or in the West Village you should definitely have a meal at this restaurant.  You could be happy with anything on their menu but I recommend that if you eat meat, try the roast chicken
Chef Laurence Edelman
Q & A with Laurence Edelman:

Can you tell me a little about where you source your food? 

I buy mushrooms from a guy in PA who's turned his house into a mushroom farm, Primordia Mushroom Farm.  He grows the absolute best expressions of shitakes I've seen.  I get chicken from Imran Uddin at Madani Halal in Queens. Its a father and son halal butcher shop that sends me the pasteured, heritage breed chickens, freshly killed, packed in ice but still warm inside. Imran is the best.  I really love that guy.  I buy vegetables from Guy Jones at Blooming Hill Farms, Paulette Satur's Farms, and the groups of farm stands at Union Square Greenmarket, Abingdon Market and Tucker Square Market mainly.  

I know that one of your missions is:
"Our battle cry is buy food from people you know!  We are champions of our local farmers and their markets."  
This there anything else you would add to this?

  I like to work with people who show dedication and enthusiasm.  I've seen that personal relationships are how we get along in this world.  Sure the product is the most important, but it's not the only thing that matters.

There was lavender on the tomato salad and in the herbs on the roast chicken.  It's a unique and exciting flavor. What was your influence?

I was in the north of France recently and got a shot of herbs.  When I got home I upped my herb game.  

What excites you the most about creating a menu?

When seasons change is the most exciting time.  In the summer its about buying fresh, chopping it up and hitting it with good olive oil and lemon.  In the fall we start to go back inside, metaphorically, with roast turnips, beets and nuts and sauces.  The winter makes me want to cook long braises, red wine with meats and starchy root vegetables like rutabaga and savory pies.  Then in the Spring, we shed our fat and go back into ramps and peas, and we know we're part of a rotation when it starts all over again.  That's my favorite part of making menus, and near the end of each season I'm making myself ready for the next.  
Oyster Party!
Kumamoto oyster
Micheline relaxing in the dining room window seat
Tomato Salad with Fresh Herb & Artichoke Puree
Roast Chicken topped with a Corn, Radish & Herb Salad
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Blueberries and Fresh Cream


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