Note: The Department of Health closed LCB Brasserie in March 2007, after it failed an inspection with 80 violations. Initially, there was a sign in the window that it was “closed for minor alterations.” But after a couple of months, owner Jean-Jacques Rachou decided to cash out and retire. Alain Ducasse bought the space, which has re-opened as Benoit, a clone of one of Ducasse’s Paris restaurants.
LCB Brasserie Rachou is an odd hybrid between the four-star destination that La Côte Basque once was, and the informal brasserie that it now aspires to be. The serving staff (many of whom pre-date the flood) are attentive and très correctement. The china and flatware would be at home in any three- or four-star restaurant. The patrons are all monsieur et madame. Every dish is served with a silver half-moon cover, which is removed with the obligatory voila!
I ordered a cassoulet, while my mother ordered rack of lamb. Both of us were delighted. (I would note that the lamb came with four chops, which is generous as compared to the three I was served at Gotham Bar & Grill.) To accompany, we ordered a $35 cabernet that I reckon would have been $50 in many restaurants. In a restaurant of this calibre, $35 for almost any bottle is a steal.
Most entrées are over $25, and many are over $30, making LCB Brasserie a bit pricey for a two-star restaurant, but for traditional French favorites it still offers an experience that has become scarce in Manhattan. I would happily return.
LCB Brasserie Rachou (60 W. 55th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves., West Midtown)