La Mercerie in Soho is such a beautiful restaurant that it could just coast by on its looks and be successful. The space is quite stunning, as it serves double duty as a dining room and as a showroom for exquisite and expensive home furnishings. You almost feel obligated to dress up a little so that you don’t ruin the look and feel of the place, which goes well with Gucci and Celine, less so with anything much more modest.
With so much emphasis on beauty, you might think that the food is just an afterthought, or that it might be pretty and small portioned for the fine-boned guests who frequent here. But La Mercerie is more than a pretty face, it really knows its way around the kitchen, and it’s especially skilled at making crepes. You might be a little skeptical that crepes would make a restaurant destination worthy, but these aren’t the lightweight Nutella crepes of our childhood. This crepe, aptly named the “complète”, really does make your life complete. It’s deceptively simple, consisting of just ham, comte cheese and an egg so perfectly cooked it seems flawlessly stitched into the crepe with nary a seam, but the pros at La Mercerie make it look easy.
If you’re not in the mood for a crepe, which would be crazy, you can opt for the more traditional plats like salmon sauce meurette or boeuf bourguignon. You should also either start or end your meal with something sweet, although narrowing it down to what (croissant? a tart? some cookies?) will be a challenge. What’s not hard is finishing all of it, and once you lick your plate clean, you can order more, along with the plate while you’re at it.
53 Howard St (between Mercer St and Broadway)
New York, NY 10013