10 East 60th Street
To judge by the profusion of restaurants inside clothing stores, you’d think no greater appetite stimulant exists than confronting yourself, naked and overlit, within the cramped confines of a dressing room. Okay, then, it must be something else. Perhaps it’s just a natural extension of the theory that the longer you stay on the premises, the more you’ll buy, and a trendy restaurant adds to the theatrical chic of shopping. Designer Nicole Farhi depends on skillful chef Annie Wayte to lure the ladies and gents who lunch (and shop) to Nicole’s, the sleek, stylishly minimalist restaurant in the basement of her sprawling clothing-and-housewares boutique. Diners as slim as the stems of the calla lilies gracing their tables consume perfectly composed, impeccably fresh salads that change daily, like the rest of Wayte’s Mediterranean-accented, season-driven menu. If all that wardrobe-wrangling has made you work up an appetite for more than well-dressed baby greens and wild mushrooms, try Wayte’s signature fish and chips, with its veddy British garnish of mushy peas, or one of her splendid puddings, like the silkily milky crema catalana or lemon surprise. Leave your dressing-room demons for another time.
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