New York Magazine

 
 
 
  Back when "Continental cuisine" was the height of culinary cool, we fell in love with duck à l'orange, chateaubriand, and crêpes Suzette. Some of our favorite chefs are doing the Continental again -- and we couldn't be happier.
Even in the supercharged dining world, where we crave what's new and hot, and inspired chefs take pains to deliver it, there's a palpable hunger for the French classics -- the dishes that wowed us back when haute cuisine was truly exotic and Julia Child first brandished a whisk on public television. This season, in fact, such memorable fare is undergoing a well-deserved revival. And no wonder -- the chefs who shared these recipes with us swear that despite jaw-dropping presentation, most of the work can be done in advance. Coq au vin, for instance, is a cinch when you cook the bird a day ahead. Rick Laakkonen does the reverse with his chateaubriand, tackling the heady portobello-bacon sauce first and searing the roast at the last minute. Terrance Brennan achieves an extra-crisp-skinned duck à l'orange by letting it dry out for three days, and Didier Virot's tarragon-sauced lobster à l'américaine makes such a splash, it's worth the extra effort and expense. As for blow-torching baked Alaska or igniting a pan full of crêpes Suzette -- those are old flames we'll never get over.
 
The Classics
Baked Alaska
Michael Sullivan of Le Zinc.
  Chateaubriand with Portobello-Bacon Sauce
Rick Laakkonen of Ilo.
Coq au Vin
Philippe Roussel of Montparnasse.
  Crêpes Suzette
Erik Blauberg of '21' Club and Upstairs at '21'.
Lobster à l'Americaine
Didier Virot of Aix.
  Roast Duck à l'Orange
Terrance Brennan of Artisanal and Brennan's Seafood and Chop House.
 
 
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