In New York, you wouldn’t hesitate to order in Chinese food, but it’s not yet second nature to scrunch the sofa blanket around oneself, yawn lazily, and murmur, “Let’s order in French.” It’s a murmur worth uttering, however, when it comes to Poulet Sans Tête, in the West Village: There’s a spectacularly cooked spit-roasted chicken, “accessories” (fresher-than-fresh Meyer-lemon-pink-peppercorn sauce, a rich-roasted garlic dip, and a punchy aioli are three of the five incredible options), and epic sides, like drippings potatoes, that are so good, they make any evening instantly festive, special, and très French. (We were introduced to it at a rooftop party in the summer, but it’s as genius with rosé and eighty-degree weather as it is with burgundy and late-February slush.)
Poulet’s chef, Laurence Edelman—who also owns and runs the adjacent and fabulous Left Bank in the West Village—fills a niche we didn’t know existed: delicious, healthy, super fresh, ready right now French food that even looks glamorous.
Don’t make the mistake, as we did, of marching into Left Bank and expecting the rotisserie and the amazing sauces, however. At Left Bank, you get cozy, French, West Village bistro perfection—there’s a fantastic wine list, incredible oysters, soups like leek/bean/Parmesan rind, sautéed cauliflower with pistou, steak frites, moules, and even a pain perdu with crème fraîche glace. The lighting couldn’t be more flattering or the atmosphere more convivial. (In other words, if you’re not ordering in and want a casual night out with excellent French food, come here.)
Edelman is devoted to simplicity and artisanal methods as well as to responsibly farmed ingredients that are inventively combined, and this comes through at both restaurants. The only decision to make, of course, is the obvious one: to go out or stay in.
More French delivery options to try:
While not quite as health-conscious as Poulet, Ceci-Cela is a downtown staple for all things French and baked. It’s a small gem on Delancey Street that delivers the authentic croissants, quiches, madeleines, and baguette sandwiches for which it’s rightly famous.
A popular roast chicken spot on the Upper East Side, Rotisserie Georgette also offers a great gnocchi Parisienne with roasted cherry tomatoes, arugula, and ricotta, plus roasted cauliflower gratin with Parmesan, lemon, and a rosemary crust.also offers a great gnocchi Parisienne with roasted cherry tomatoes, arugula, and ricotta, plus roasted cauliflower gratin with Parmesan, lemon, and a rosemary crust.