Hell’s Kitchen is known for cheap Thai restaurants, raucous gay bars, and not much else. Now, there is a French restaurant aiming to change all that.
La Silhouette is a French-inspired fine dining restaurant in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen that is helmed by Chef Matthew Tropeano, formerly of La Grenouille. It takes classical French ingredients but prepares them in exciting and innovative ways.
The decor at La Silhouette belies its cooking. It is all straight lines, muted colors with pops of red, and utilitarian design. It looks like a restaurant that would serve modern American or trendy Italian food, not one that would serve such fanciful and decadent items as it does.
Duck croquettes are the first hint of Chef Tropeano’s technique. These golf-ball sized croquettes have a crispy crust that hides incredibly moist, sweet duck. The rosemary aioli underneath brings out the deeper tones of the duck.
Foie gras “a la botero,” served with sweet plantains, roasted pineapple-shallot confit, and coffee jus is cooked perfectly, with a thick, salty crust outside and a slightly pink, melting center inside. The coffee jus has a pleasing bitter quality to counteract the pineapple confit’s sugar, and the plantains are revelatory. They tone down the pineapple confit’s sweetness while bringing out the rich tones of the foie.
Veal sweetbreads with fennel and roasted garlic ravioli is a game-changer. Similar to fried chicken, the veal tastes like meaty, tender chicken fingers. And though dunking them in ketchup or honey mustard might obscure the subtle taste of the veal, a bright, acidic Meyer lemon sauce adds zip and elevates the dish.
La Silhouette is changing the way that Hell’s Kitchen eats. The service is elegant and unobtrusive, the wines by the glass are excellent, and the food is absolutely four star. Of course, because it’s in Hell’s Kitchen, the meal is an incredible value—if this restaurant were on the Upper East Side, the meal would have cost easily three times as much. Also, because it’s in Hell’s Kitchen, there is a prix fixe lunch option. And take-out for lunch. This is the best kept secret in New York, a Michelin level meal right in Hell’s Kitchen, served by a pedigreed chef at unbelievably fair prices.
362 W. 53rd St.
New York, NY 10019