Hidden behind a white clapboard facade in the Westchester town of Bedford, La Crémaillère is still clinging to its reputation as the best French country cooking establishment on the East Coast, so the critics say.
Founded nearly 70 years ago by Antoine Gilly and bought up in 1962 by Robert Louis Meyzen and Fred Decré, the restaurant was meant to be the country cousin of the city’s La Caravelle, where Jacqueline Kennedy dinned with New York’s elite.
Today, the restaurant is still going strong, remaining the finest example of its style in New England, according to Vanity Fair. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t facing challenges.
“They’ll say, ‘Robert, can you put the sauce on the side?’” Meyzen’s son, Robert Olivier Meyzen laments to Vanity Fair of the captain’s of industry who frequent his restaurant. “Actually, it’s a quenelle, so, no, I can’t. I’m rooted in the classics. The dishes themselves are light, but at the same time the dish is a statement. I listen to them decompose the menu and think: Why do you come here? We can’t be everything to everybody. This is who we are.”
Notable guests of the restaurant include Governor Andrew Cuomo, Tommy Hilfiger, Glenn Close, Tom Brokaw, Regis Philbin, Paul Shaffer, Billy Joel and Mick Jagger.
But despite his restaurant’s enduring success, Meyzen complains that the nouveau riche disrespect his establishment with their casual dress. He was even forced to place a sign in front of the restaurant reminding men that shorts and sandals are not appropriate attire.
“They show up in their Lamborghinis or Maseratis—in their shorts—and all I can think is: Have a little respect,” Meyzen says. “I said this to one man and he was outraged. ‘These are Polo shorts!’ he shouted.”