If you’ve spent any time down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, then you’re likely familiar with former top table Bonne Soiree, run by couple Chip Smith and Tina Vaughn. Sadly the restaurant shuttered in 2011, but thanks to New York-based restaurateur Robert Margolis, whose parents were fans of the bygone establishment, it was reincarnated late last year on the Upper East Side under the new moniker The Simone. Now, in an 11-table fine diner located on a quiet, tree-lined residential street, Smith and Vaughn continue to wow with a thoughtful and well-executed dining experience, from hand-written menus and charming environs to classic French cooking.
Goat cheese soufflé is twice-baked with chives and served with roasted beets and pistachios; while duck two ways (pan roasted breasts and slow roasted thighs) arrives plated with toasted farro, pickled cherries and morels; and Lord Baltimore Cake is prepared with pecans, coconut, dried fruits and topped with a blow-torched meringue. As for the perfect pairing, leave it to Vaughn to select from her globally-sourced wine list, including a 2011 Coenobium Bianco Lazio vinified by the sisters of the Suore Cistercensi Monastery. NC’s loss – NYC’s gain!
151 E 82nd St / Upper East Side / +1 212 772 8861 / 6-9.30pm Mon-Thu, 6-10.30pm Fri-Sat / thesimonerestaurant.com