Stephen Lyle
Taste of Provence
Stephen Lyle

Thursday, March 29, 7:00 p.m.
Members $85, guests $110

Stephen 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 leaves).

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 restaurant.

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 history.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Smoked-Pork Crépinettes

House-Marinated Icelandic Schmaltz Herring

     Hugel Cuvée Les Amours Pinot Blanc 1999

Lobster Bouillabaisse with Quenelles of Rascasses, Fava Beans, and Artichokes

     Routas Coquelicot Viognier 1999

Brined Boneless Duck Legs Braised in Cabbage with Sorrel-Mustard Cream

     Vincent Pouilly-Fuissé, 1998

Marinated and Grilled Lamb Shanks "Mimi" on Arugula with Cured Lemon, Roasted Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives, and Cumin, Goat Cheese, and Thyme Tian

     Olga Raffault Les Picasses Chinon 1996

Ultra-Thin Hot Apple Tart with Cider Sorbet and Wild Berry Preserves

     Hard Cider



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