THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED L'Escalier
* Click here for rating key
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED L'Escalier Restaurant Review: L’ESCALIER, A GAYOT TOP 40 RESTAURANT IN THE U.S. IN 2011 AND 2004, HAS CLOSED Anchored by chandeliers larger than some South Beach apartments, L'Escalier looks like what it has always been: a "Grande Dame" resort's formal fine dining restaurant. Since the advent of chef Greg Vassos in 2008, however, the food has been far from its former solid but safe stuff. The complex, sophisticated fare reflects the influences of Vassos' many mentors: impeccable French technique via Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert, the seasonal ingredient-driven innovation of The French Laundry's Thomas Keller, and, especially, the dazzling molecular gastronomy magic of Spain's Sergi Arola. The menu does change seasonally, but the wow factor doesn't. From a unique Jerusalem artichoke soup with brandade beignet and unlikely "brittle" (looks like candy, tastes like olive oil) to a playful "foiewhopper" incorporating three of the world's most indulgent ingredients (Wagyu beef, foie gras, Maine lobster) with brioche and sauce Périgueux (still more foie gras, plus truffles), virtually every dish contains unexpected elements---that, somehow, work. Admittedly, some portions are pretty petite. But it's the sort of "don't try this at home kids" cuisine that makes diners marvel; the astonishment factor justifies the high price. Main courses may include Prime New York strip “au poivre,” milk-fed veal or agnolotti. A first-rate wine list rounds out the experience.