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145 E. 50th St. (Lexington Ave.) Send to Phone

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.
Open late

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED L'Actuel Restaurant Review

: Successful with his upscale restaurant Destinée, Jean-Yves Schillinger has opened a lower key and rather fun place dubbed L’Actuel. The name says it all. In French, actuel means contemporary or current. And this is exactly what you will find here: dishes from all over the world without prejudice for their origin. The appetizers are baptized tapas in reference to the Spanish habit of offering many little dishes to accompany apéritifs, but here we learn that tapas also can be French or international and can escape from the ceviche-and-chorizo territory. Hence some exciting findings, as the baked Japanese eggplant stuffed with apple and goat cheese or the duo of cold scrambled eggs with caviar and smoked salmon. The entrées borrow in general from the French répertoire but modernized and internationalized with unusual complements. For instance, the braised lamb shank is married to a vegetable couscous. The swordfish is seared with sweet corn and comes with a green tea sauce, and the lobster is served with carrot spaghetti. These combinations whet our curiosity and also our appetite. It is not only fun but also well-done. Then why should you elect to be conservative---which you can be if you pick the grilled sirloin steak with béarnaise or the tartare steak with french fries? Be Actuel and pour some excitement in your plate. For summer appetites, there are also refreshing and well-priced seafood platters. Décor is unpretentious and live jazz attracts a young audience around the bar. Service is cool and ambience relaxed.
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