Thursday, March 29, 7:00 p.m.
Members $85, guests $110
Lyle's Village is a decidedly New York restaurant. Housed in a historic
West Village townhouse that was once an artist's
studio, the dining room evokes a feeling of old New York. The menu
is modern American bistro, with American classics
like the velvety oyster pan roast, coexisting with well-executed
bistro staples (think frisée and lardons)
and delicious contemporary creations (say, tuna sashimi in grape
Lyle was at the forefront of New York's bistro explosion. In 1984,
he was opening chef at Quatorze, one
of the first of the city's bistros to combine a French culinary
sensibility with New York attitude. He went
on to become the chef of Odeon, which
to this day continues to define New York bistro chic. In 1997, Lyle
opened The Independent in Tribeca,
a place that further synthesized the bistro with the American
Through it all, Lyle has quietly carved a niche as one of New York's
most accomplished and respected chefs/restaurateurs.
He has a gift for intuiting just what will make
a restaurant both fashionable and lasting. As Moira
Hodgson wrote in a favorable review for the New York
Observer, Village "feels grown-up, elegant, and up-to-the-minute
at the same time." Lyle, she continued, "is not about
wowing the eater with strange combinations, but about giving
people what they want to eat."
Lyle was born in Paris to American parents. When he was nine, his
parents returned to France from New York to raise Lyle and
his four younger siblings on a farm in the heart of
Provence. It was there that Lyle fell in love with cooking.
At a tender age, he learned to respect quality ingredients
and to prepare simple, market-based meals from local products.
By age 11, Lyle was cooking regularly for his brothers
and sisters. As a teen, he apprenticed at a restaurant on
the coast of the Riviera, and then took a post with a
Michelin-starred chef. He graduated from L'Ecole Hôtelière
in Nice and worked at the Michelin two-star Oustau
de Baumanière before returning to America. In
New York, he trained with acclaimed chefs Masataka
Kobayashi and Leslie Revsin
before opening Quatorze. The rest, as they say, is