Located on the corner of Wall Street and Water Street inside the newly opened Wall Street Hotel, La Marchande is an ode to French cuisine with a modern and bright neighborhood vibe. Fraser brought together the hospitality industry’s finest to create the space, as former Soho House head of design Vicky Charles is responsible for the upscale interiors.
Guests enter the restaurant through the double-height entrance and are immediately met with the gorgeous rattan hostess stand and palm frond-shaped brass pendant lights. Watts of Westminster wallcoverings depicting lush foliage and tropical birds adorn the walls, providing a worldly ambiance to match the carefully curated menu. Equally delicious cocktails and bar fare are served atop the ornately carved wooden bar, accented with green marble, brass and antiqued mirrors. Scalloped pink marble floor tiles match the mother-of-pearl-lined raw bar in the parlor area, where local and imported oysters, creative tartares and sumptuous rolls can be found. Meaning “female merchant,” La Marchande toasts the mercantile heritage of the Wall Street Hotel, which sits in the location of America’s first stock exchange in the city’s historic pearl trading district. “I thought, if I were a chef seeing new ingredients and ideas arriving at port, and wanted to incorporate that global pantry into my food, how would it influence our kitchen?” shares Fraser. “The answer is La Marchande.”
Executive chef Rick Horiike brings Fraser’s vision to life, embracing vinaigrettes and broths rather than traditional heavier French sauces for a lighter take on the cuisine. “It has been a privilege to work closely with Chef John and fine-tune his incomparable culinary vision,” Horiike says. “We are combining our love of classic French brasserie cooking and reimaging it in a modern way.” Standout dishes include the grilled lobster, an interpretation of Lobster Américaine with coconut milk instead of the traditional sauce with butter and cream, and the lamb prime rib with pickled ginger, carrots and fried rice pilaf.
Beverage director Amy Racine created the 120-bottle French-focused wine list and the compelling cocktail program. Racine champions vermouth throughout the cocktail menu, with standout drinks including the Saffrantine, La Marchande’s signature martini with Grey Goose vodka, Cap Corse Blanc and pickled baby eggplant, and the Pineapples des Charentes, with pineapple, Bigallet China-China, lemon and tarragon. La Marchande is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5PM to 11PM.