Fresh off the success of the French stunner Le Coucou, one of New York City’s hottest openings of 2016, restaurant empire-builder Stephen Starr and chef Daniel Rose have unleashed another joint project: a Paris bistro called Chez La Vieille.
The New York Times reports the duo quietly took ownership of the small restaurant —which first opened in 1958 — and reopened it without much fanfare back in October. As the Times notes, it is small by Starr’s standards — Chez La Vieille has a bar on the ground floor that seats 10, and the upstairs dining room seats 18. (In contrast, Starr is best known for opening massive restaurants like the Asian fusion spectacle Buddakan, which has more than 300 seats.)
The restaurant previously shined under the proprietorship of Adrienne Biasin, who retired more than 25 years ago. Since then, Chez La Vieille has been in a state of flux, and the restaurant’s revival under the auspices of Starr and Rose comes at a good time for the pair as they ride the major success of Le Coucou.
Situated in the Les Halles neighborhood, the restaurant has had its design refreshed, but not necessarily updated: It retains the charm of an older Paris, with black-and-white tile floors and exposed wooden beams. The menu tips its hat to the original owners with a duck terrine; other dishes include herring with carrots and potatoes and the French classic blanquette de veau, as well as bouillon with spaetzle, grilled bacon, and poached egg.
While this marks the first Paris venture for Starr, Rose is well-established there: Though born in Chicago he’s spent the majority of his culinary career in France, opening the acclaimed Spring Restaurant in Paris in 2006 and following it up with the bistro La Bourse et la Vie in Fall 2015.
The August opening of Le Coucou in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood signaled Rose’s return to American soil, and so far the chef is taking no prisoners: Le Coucou grabbed three stars each from New York Times critic Pete Wells and Eater critic Ryan Sutton, who declared it “an instant French classic.” It sounds like there could be more to come from this dynamic duo: Starr tells the Times he and Rose may have more joint projects down the road, teasing London as a possibility.