Friday, January 15, 2016
We're not in town right now but if we were we would rush so fast to see this "Marie Antoinette-inspired bar" under Atlantic Ave.
"Le Boudoir" is meant to resemble the French Queen's "lavish lair" at Versailles. The drink menu is replete with hints of 1793, including absinthe.
Where do we start? Here's the announcement:
Tarek Debira and Patricia Ageheim, the husband and wife duo behind beloved neighborhood French restaurant Chez Moi in Brooklyn Heights, with partner Ali Mardassi, open Le Boudoir (135 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201, 347-227-8337, www.chezmoiny.com), an underground Rococo-style 75-seat bar inspired by Marie Antoinette. Le Boudoir draws inspiration from the Queen of France's private chambers in Le Chateau de Versailles, channeling a space that once served as her refuge from the etiquette of the royal court, reserved only for her most intimate circle of friends. Debira, Ageheim and Mardassi introduce Brooklyn to their modern version of the lavish lair complete with an expertly crafted beverage program and light bites.
From Beverage Director Franky Marshall, formerly of Monkey Bar and The Dead Rabbit, Le Boudoir offers an inspired cocktail menu that features imaginative takes on classic libations as well as unique signature offerings, both of which showcase unexpected spirits and liqueurs. All named as an homage to Antoinette, cocktail highlights include the 1793 with Toasted Sunflower Seed Infused Rye, Oloroso Sherry and Demerara; a French 75 with Cognac, Sparkling Wine, and Fresh Lemon; the Axel von Fersen with Applejack, Bourbon, Sesame, Curry and Black Caraway; Dauphin with Absinthe, Chile Liqueur, Almond Milk, Coconut, and Cacao Nibs; and the Guillotine with Mezcal, Scotch, Banana and Honey, among others. The bar boasts an extensive selection of spirits, including absinthes, whiskies, and French fortified wines, as well as lesser-known spirits like sotol. Bottled and draft beers are also available, in addition to sparkling, white and red wine by the glass and bottle.
Le Boudoir will also offer a menu of Les Petits Pleasures including Crispy Frog Legs; Croquettes with Truffled Mushrooms; Country Pâté with Cornichons; a plate of Fromages; French Fries with Garlic and Parmesan; as well as Desserts like Chocolate Mousse and Crème Brûlée.
Designed by the Chez Moi team, Le Boudoir takes its cue from the Rococo architectural and design movements of 18th century France. Hidden in Chez Moi is a replication of the bookshelf from Marie Antoinette's library, through which guests are invited to make their way to the secret entrance and down a flight of stairs to the underground bar area. The entrance reveals a marblebar, stocked with silver-plated goblets and coupes, crystal d'arcques glassware and features a small bronze bust of Antoinette that serves as the tap for beers on draft. Adjacent to the bar sits a Steinway Piano and plush tufted red velvet chaise lounge.
In front of the bar is the intimate lounge area, with opulent red velvet banquettes and white marble tables, beneath a wall lined with ornate gilded mirrors and antique sconces sourced from French châteaus. A geometric wood ceiling is a reproduction of the Parquet de Versailles, a flooring pattern first introduced at the royal palace. Toward the rear of the room lies a dimly lit stone grotto, an abandoned tunnel uncovered underneath Atlantic Avenue during construction. The grotto is outfitted with a brown leather banquette, whimsical glass-top tables, all set beneath French Neo-Classical paintings. Marie Antoinette's spirit lives on at Le Boudoir in everything from the bathrooms that were designed as an exact replica of her private powder room, to an original engraved doorknob from her bedroom.
Le Boudoir is open seven days a week from 6:00pm until 1:00am Sunday through Thursday and from 6:00pm until 4:00am on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available via phone at 347-227-8337, or online at www.chezmoiny.com.
Photo: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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