We’ll always have Paris. We kind of left our hearts there (sorry, San Francisco) after shooting our Fall’14 lookbook. The Tuileries. The left bank. All that rosé! Luckily we can now get our Francophile fix way closer to home—Le District, the new French food hall that’s the latest installation at Brookfield Place, downtown’s hottest foodie destination, is everything we could ever ask for. Perfect crepes? Check. Imported foodstuffs? Oui. Add to that a gorgeous mini flower shop, prime meat, fish, and cheese selections, and a proper sit-down bistro, and you’ve got an afternoon field trip, Parisian style. A recent visit found newly transplanted Conde Nast employees (we’re guessing they were Bon Appetit editors, from the way they were gushing over the honey selection) knocking elbows with local Tribeca moms loading up on on hazelnut crepes for the kiddos. It was bustling, beautiful, and everywhere we turned there was a mouth-watering display of gorgeous French goods just begging to be bought.
While it’s pretty fantastic as-is, the upcoming features yet to be revealed have us waiting patiently to return. Outdoor seating will hopefully bring a Palais Royal vibe to al fresco lunches, while the tasting menu at L’Appart will put us front-and-center as the chef prepares delicious delicacies. Have we mentioned that the salad bar turns into a chocolate mousse bar at 4pm? Daily? That’s right, these folks take their sweets very, very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they’ve transported beloved Parisian confectioner and baker La Cure Gourmande to Le District’s 30,000 square foot space to set up the first stateside outpost. There are madeleines, gorgeous sweets (doesn’t ‘choupette sound so much more wonderful than lollipop?), and the vendor’s signature gorgeous tins and packaging. This is the place to roll when you have to bring dessert to dinner, or send your best friend something sweet for her birthday. But good luck telling the kids they have to wait until after dinner.
Since Parisians and New Yorkers alike are all about full-service, Le District offers shoppers fabulous perks like personal shopping via their concierge, and the butcher station will cook up your cut of meat for you, on the spot, to keep your stove at home in pristine condition. Merci beaucoup, Le District.
The next time you’re yearning for an Air France trans-Atlantic getaway but it’s just not in the cards, here’s what you should do: head downtown. Buy a baguette, a bit of chevre, a few gorgeous sweets. Pack them into your picnic basket, which you should have also loaded up with a cold, cold bottle of vin blanc. Head to the river, and find the perfect spot to settle down, take a breath, and enjoy your French fare. No, the Hudson isn’t the Seine, but the light at sunset is beautiful, and the Statue of Liberty is a French gal, after all. Ah, La Vie en Rose.