In what may be a sign of Lower Manhattan coming of age as a fine-dining destination, a new restaurant in Brookfield Place has earned a Michelin star. L’Appart, an intimate, 28-seat hideaway nestled behind a leather-padded door within Le District, was given the honor in the 2017 Michelin Guide to New York City, which was released in November.
The august baedeker has been publishing handbooks for traveling gastronomes for more than a century, conferring rankings based on one star (denoting, “a very good restaurant in its category”), two (indicating, “excellent cuisine, worth a detour”) or three (“flagging, exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”).
In New York City, there are only 77 restaurants in three of the five boroughs that appear on Michelin’s 2017 roster. (The Bronx and Staten Island didn’t make the cut.) Of these, six made the top tier with three stars, another ten were granted two stars, and 61 were awarded a single star.
Among these was L’Appart, which takes its name from an abbreviated form of the French word for “apartment.” The small space is outfitted to resemble a dining room within a private French home more than a traditional restaurant. One half of the space is given over to an open kitchen, where guests can watch chef Nicolas Abello prepare selections from the five- to eight-course tasting menu, which is priced starting at $105 per person.
The menu changes daily, based on market availability, seasonality, the chef’s spontaneity, and guest preferences. Many of the ingredients come from the Le District marketplace that surrounds L’Appart.
Mr. Abello’s artistry in the kitchen is supported by the gracious hospitality of maître d’ George Thomas. Both Mr. Abello and Mr. Thomas are alumni of Daniel, the Upper East Side outpost of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, which itself boasts two Michelin stars. Mr. Thomas has also served stints at Bouley, Alain Ducasse and Del Posto.
L’Appart opened less than a year ago (in April, 2016), and earned its first Michelin star in less than seven months. It is the only Michelin-starred restaurant anywhere below Chambers Street, and one of only four below Canal Street. (The others are Junk-Sik, at Two Harrison Street, and Bâtard, at 239 West Broadway, with two stars, and Atera, at 77 Worth Street, with one star.)
There 2017 Michelin Guide to New York City also contained some bad news for one local restaurant operator: two Tribeca eateries owned by legendary chef David Bouley disappeared from the rankings entirely: Brushstroke and the eponymous Bouley. A third Bouley outpost, his Rosanjin, was demoted for the 2016 rankings and closed a few weeks later.
L’Appart, located within Le District, at the 225 Liberty Street building of Brookfield Place, is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm (closed Sunday and Monday). For reservations, or more information, please call 212-981-8577 or browse www.lappartnyc.com.