L’Appart This well-upholstered 28-seat enclave within Le District, the sprawl of markets and restaurants in Battery Park City, is designed to suggest an informal dinner party — hence the name, a shortening of the French for apartment. When guests enter, the headwaiter, George Thomas, whom you may recognize from his many years at Bouley, offers an aperitif or a glass of Champagne. “It’s like what happens when you go to someone’s home,” he said. The room is fitted with an open kitchen where the chef, Nicolas Abello prepares a six-course French-accented tasting menu.
When Le District opened in 2015, it was dubbed the French version of Eataly. There are sections devoted to meat, fish, bread, flowers, pastries, vegetables, and cheese, and hidden within its own little corner, off a hallway that houses chocolate bars and kitchen items and behind a leather-lined door, is L'Appart.
The 28-seat restaurant's name comes from its inspiration, a French apartment, but I've never been to any apartment where the food is as superb as it is here. On a recent evening, the seven-course tasting menu prepared by chef Nicolas Abello, an alum of Daniel in New York and Pierre Gagnaire in London, began with melon soup and foie gras.
If you guessed that next week would see you sipping a Negroni variation named for a French fencer, you, friend, have a gift that should be explored. And you definitely won’t be surprised at L’Appart, a tiny living room of a tasting menu spot from a former Daniel chef, opening Wednesday in a hidden corner of Le District.
First things first: finding the place. Walk in through Brookfield Place into Le District, hang a right just past the butcher district, find the wooden double doors with the ever-so-classy, ever-so-discreet “L’Appart” sign, and you’re in.
Amid the market bustle of Battery Park’s Le District lies this eight-table French tasting-menu restaurant, helmed by Daniel alum Nicolas Abello. Pulling produce and proteins from Le District’s market stalls, Abello puts together a six-course spread that includes dishes like organic-zucchini hand rolls with Crottin de Champcol goat cheese and kiwi chutney, a mille-feuille of roasted beets with 12-month Comté and aged balsamic, and cucumber cups with poached Maine lobster and makrut-lime leaves.