Le Laurentis: A New Old Fashioned Bistro in Lakeville
When was the last time you saw céleri rémoulade or eggs a la Russe on a menu in these parts? When was the last time you went to a French bistro where the most expensive entrée was $20? Le Laurentis, which opened in Lakeville three months ago, feels like it’s been around forever—or at least since the 1960s. Audaciously located behind Pastorale, a popular French country restaurant, Le Laurentis has a more urban feel that recalls the cozy-bordering-on-cramped French restaurants that generations of New Yorkers have gone to for pre-theater dinners in the West 50s. “If you found yourself in Paris and stepped into a neighborhood joint, you wouldn’t be surprised to find a place like this,” says owner George Courgnaud, who has decorated the restaurant modestly with traditional cane bistro chairs and tables covered with kraft paper. “When I came to New York thirty years ago, it was already the end of the era for this type of French food. People often say to me, ‘I haven’t tasted food like this in ages’. This is back-to-basics cooking.”
If you still relish the cuisine of Julia Child, you will be very happy here. The by-the-book truite meunière ($16) is bathed in butter, the salmon is served with a decadent Hollandaise sauce ($18), and the hangar steak ($18) comes with a rich wine-and shallot sauce and a pile of crisp frites. “Our most popular dish is duck a l’orange,’ says Courgnaud. “And when we do specials of sweetbreads and calf’s liver, they are very popular, too.” Courgnaud is happy to let other restaurateurs try to reinvent the wheel. “I wanted to have a restaurant that served the food that I grew up with,” says Courgnaud, who used to be a wine distributor. “That’s how I discovered and fell in love with Lakevile and Salisbury, because I would visit once a week to see my clients,” he says. You’ll have sticker shock when you look at his wine list. “I am very proud of it,” he says. “Every bottle is just $25.” Très bien!
227 Main Street, Lakeville, CT; 860.596.4231
Lunch: Thursday - Monday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner: Wednesday - Monday 5 - 10 p.m.