La Mercerie is a pleasant place. It’s a beautiful all-day cafe housed in a furniture store by Roman and Williams, the famous design firm known for their work in restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs that you have most likely spent some time in: Upland, Freehand, The Ace, The Breslin, the Boom Boom Room, and Le Coucou to name just a few. By the way, you’re not still spending time in the Boom Boom Room, are you? You’re too old to be hanging out there. No matter how old you are.
Luckily, at no point in life will you be too old for a meal that starts with croissants and ends with profiteroles, especially if everything in between consists of various ways to consume soft boiled eggs and aged Comté cheese. La Mercerie is a place where you come to eat French food done well - like your favorite bistro in Paris, but with less smoking. You can decide if that’s for better or worse.
That said, your overall opinion of La Mercerie will likely depend less on how you feel about cigarettes and more about something else - how you feel about being around things you can’t have.
Do you like to window shop on Madison Avenue even though you’re also still hanging onto a sandwich from Monday in your refrigerator? Are you happily married but also still secretly keeping screenshots of Armie Hammer in your camera roll? La Mercerie is a place you’ll probably enjoy.
But if you’re the kind of person that would prefer to avoid coming face to face with the fact that you will never own a $25,000 couch, you might have different feelings. Because one of those is for sale just a few hundred feet from where you’re eating, as are the plates and glasses and table that you’re eating from, along with a wood and leather footstool that you should not ever put your feet on. And if you’re the type that prefers to sit across from your dining companion in a chair, know that you might not be able to have one of those either. Some of the two-person seating in this restaurant is situated side-by-side, in a velvet booth. Not ideal if you’re trying to play it cool with a client or person who is not familiar, so make sure you specify before you make a reservation.
In our opinion, the things that you can have at La Mercerie far outweigh the things that you can’t. And that’s why we’ve spent plenty a business meeting dining shoulder to shoulder, trying to decide the most professional way to eat croissant flakes off our pants. I guess that means we’re also the kind of people who can accept the fact that there are some things we’ll never have. Those flakes weren’t meant for us.
A baked egg, served with an outstanding mushroom brioche. This is one of the best things you can eat for breakfast in this city, though we’re not sure that it’s something you should do regularly. Brioche is, after all, the French term for “slow and pleasurable death by butter,” according to this new translation app we’ve been using.
This is a La Mercerie must order, no matter what time of day you’re here. The salmon is light and perfectly smoked, and if you don’t try to put all the little blinis in your mouth at the same time what did you even come to this restaurant for?
A buckwheat envelope filled with egg, Comté cheese, and ham. Get one of these delivered to your table and share it.
This isn’t a boring piece of salmon, but it will satisfy your most boring friend. Get it if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, although the wine sauce it’s served with is quite rich.
A delicious chicken dish topped with “garlic ginger nougatine,” which is something we can only assume that rich French aristocrats choose to be mummified in.
Better than the profiteroles at Balthazar, and that’s saying something. Finish your meal with these. Or start with them. You’re a grownup, you call the shots.
Price available upon request. Just don’t touch it. Or look at it.