La Goulue

Better Than Ever

By Patricia Canole

Here’s our problem with La Goulue: We wanted to eat everything on the menu at this legendary Upper East Side French restaurant. Every dish was a temptation beckoning to our taste buds at this long-time quintessential city bistro, which recently re-opened and has been warmly welcomed at a new location after a decade long hiatus.

This little slice of Parisian heaven, long a favorite dining boite for socialites, business movers and shakers, and even food critics, continues to serve up such classics as French onion soup, escargot, coq au vin, bouillabaisse, and other dishes, along with an extensive French-oriented wine list.

This little slice of Parisian heaven, long a favorite dining boite for socialites, business movers and shakers, and even food critics, continues to serve up such classics as French onion soup, escargot, coq au vin, bouillabaisse, and other dishes, along with an extensive French-oriented wine list.

A rent dispute with its landlord shut it down in 2009, leaving scores of devoted patrons devastated. Denoyer pledged he would re-open soon, wisely putting all the original fixtures into storage. It took a decade for the re-imagined La Goulue to re-open, on East 61st Street, just east of Madison Avenue. Much to everyone’s delight, it looks today precisely the way it did before, complete with butter-yellow facade and elegant interior, from its soft lighting to antique scones and fine lace curtains.

Guests will find a new installation, an additional skylit room in the back, which serves as the perfect spot to host private events

And, of course, the unchanged service, beginning with a grand welcome at the door by the exuberant Maitre d’Hotel Daoud, to the young professional staff, handling every request with aplomb. Most importantly, executive chef and operating partner Antoine Camin, who earned the original restaurant its Michelin star, is back in a newly designed kitchen, producing the same fine French dishes and as the restaurant puts it, “some smart contemporary riffs on the classics.”

With so many of the tempting dishes coming out of the French-born chef’s kitchen, our problem was wanting to sample everything.

Thankfully, with a dining companion we managed to share a few dishes, starting with appetizers.

We doubt you’ll find a more authentic
Escargots de Bourgogne au Beuree D’ail with garlic parsley butter, or the Terrine de Foie Gras Mi-Cuit with home baked brioche and cherry chutney.

For entrees, we recommend the Steak au Poivre, a 12-ounce New York strip steak enriched with a creamy reduction flecked with green peppercorns and done to perfection. The accompanying Truffle & Parmesan fries can be addictive. Other temping options include Coq au Vin with red wine sauce, carrots, onions, bacon and spaetzle, as well as Steak Tartare, which can be ordered as an appetizer. The night we dined, the featured special was Dover Sole with Yukon potatoes. La perfection!

For dessert, the classics endure: Tarte Tatin, Profiteroles Croquantes dripping with warm chocolate sauce, and the light-as-air Ile Flottante (merinque poached in vanilla custard and topped with caramel sauce and toasted almonds, all bobbing in crème anglaise.

The restaurant’s name, by the way, refers to Moulin Rouge can-can dancer Louise Weber, who was immortalized on canvas by Toulouse-Lautrec. She garnered her nickname “La Goulue” (The Glutton) for her habit of belting down patrons’ drinks. Once called the Queen of Montmartre, she came to a sad and bloated end. But her colorful friendliness lives on at the New York bistro named in her honor.

And so, most famously, does its reputation for excellent French dining

For more information on La Goulue, visit

At press time, it was determined by New York State to ban indoor dining. Restaurants, however, will continue outdoor dining, take-out, and delivery. We ask our readers to support their local restaurants and advise them to check websites for the latest updated information on their favorite dining establishments.


After a delectable holiday season of gorging on sweets, meats and alcohol, the New Year brings new promises of diets and attempts at trimming waistlines. January is never an easy month on the stomach, or for our poor belts who scream for mercy every time we try to fasten them to pre-holiday sizes. Rather than relying on crash or “fad” diets, try a balanced approach so that you can still enjoy your meals!

One example is a personal favorite of mine, the legendary Brussels Sprouts dish at Cleo Restaurant in Hollywood. It is better for you, lighter fare and delicious. Here is my version of the dish to help curb those fat-food cravings!


12 Brussels Sprouts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
⅛ teaspoon chile flakes
2 tablespoons drained (oil-packed) capers
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, more if desired
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

You can either use an air fryer or a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. If you use a pot, add enough vegetable oil (about 2 to 3 inches). Heat the oil thermometer reaches 370 degrees. In the meantime, separate the leaves from the Brussels Sprouts. While the oil is heating (if using a pot), make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar. You want to be sure that the vinaigrette is tart to the taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the almond slices and place them into a frying pan. Set the stovetop to high and cook for roughly four minutes, or until the almonds are browned.

Place the leaves in a bowl and toss with the vegetable oil. If using an air fryer, put your leaves into the basket ensuring that they are loosely placed. Heat the leaves at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway between. Once finished, place leaves on a baking sheet or pan and press gently with paper towels to remove excess oil.

If using a pot, deep-fry the leaves a small handful at a time for about 30 seconds, or until the leaves begin to crisp around the edges. Remove the leaves immediately and drain on a baking sheet or pan with paper towels, pressing the leaves with paper towels to remove excess oil. Continue frying the leaves, in small batches. If you fry too many at once, they will burn.

To assemble, place the leaves in a large bowl, add one-half of the vinaigrette, along with the chile flakes, capers, almonds, and parsley. Toss carefully and adjust the seasonings and dressing as desired. Serve immediately. Bon Appetit!