Talk Dirty French To Me…


I have a dirty little secret that I am about to reveal.

Dirty French, the latest and greatest from the Major Food Group in partnership with the new Ludlow Hotel, is amazing.

Seriously, I recently experienced a flawless meal.

Mood lighting and a vintage Parisienne decor imbue the restaurant with charm and warmth. The greeting was welcoming.

Dirty French may be fine dining, but thankfully, there is a wonderfully relaxed feel to the place.

dirty decor

We had a short wait and mosied around the stunning lounge and outdoor patio area.

The hotel is small yet imposing, decorated to suit the eclectic lower east side.

We have frequently dined on this street because one of my fav restaurants, Kuma Inn, is just down the block.

We ordered a bottle of Vent D’est Domaine De Cabrol 2012 from the well informed wine director, Lelanea Fulton. Again, we selected a red fom the Langedoc region in France. It was a spicy, full bodied blend, reasonably priced at $63.

We were escorted to our table and instanteously greeted by our lovely server, Jenny. Warm homemade bread and spread quickly appeared.


Jenny presented an array of east coast oysters on display in an attractive silver serving dish straight out of my grandmother’s silver cabinet ($3.50 a piece). The oysters were a perfect size, all buttery and sweet…no brininess.

Amandine-Roasted Clams
Amandine-Roasted Clams

We started with the Amandine, consisting of roasted clams and Ethiopian berbere spices ($14)…a truly delectable dish. I just wanted to scrap every morsel out the shell.

King Oyster Special
Mille Feuille

A special that evening was Mille Feuille, a King Oyster mushroom Napoleon appetizer ($17). When cut into, it exposed a plethora of mushroom ribbons that were astonishly flavorful. Again, if I wasn’t brought up with better manners, I would have licked the plate.

Other hors d’oeuvres included boudin ($16), tuna tartare with crepe Indochine ($18), lamb carpaccio with aubergine and yogurt ($17) and a foie gras terrine ($24). There is also a lovely selection of salads. The chevre with kale, sunchokes and curry ($14) sounded enticing.

Steak Au Poivre
Steak Au Poivre

The mains were divine. I shared a steak au poivre consisting of short ribs with lime cornichone ($33). The steak was seasoned like no other I have ever consumed…the sear, spices and cooking were perfection.

Black Bass En Papillote
Black Bass En Papillote

My husband ordered the En Papillote, black bass with clams and pistou ($36). It was a restaurant favorite and the presentation exquisite. Olivia, one of the ever efficient and affable managers, performed the unveiling.

Black Bass Reveal
Black Bass Reveal

The black bass arrived  in a pouch and then it was dramatically garnished with the delectable sauce.

Olivia is a real asset. For a woman young in years she has incredible work experience having spent 5 years working under Daniel Boulud and most recently at the wonderful new upper west side restaurant, Tessa.


Dessert was rapturous. There is no dessert menu yet, but there are four options. We ordered the beignets ($12) which were better than the historic Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans with a divine dipping sauce and we we also sampled a stunning citrus tart ($12).


Pastry Chef, Heather Bertinetti is an award-winning pastry chef for Major Food Group and noted author of acclaimed cookbook, “Bake it, don’t fake it!” After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in baking and pastry arts, Heather joined Gramercy Tavern and, just two years later, Per Se.  She then went on to open and receive rave reviews at Alto, Convivio, Marea and Osteria Morini.

Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick, Mario Carbone
Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick, Mario Carbone

Dirty French is a New York bistro created by Major Food Group’s Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick and Mario Carbone. The restaurant takes its culinary cues from the timeless dishes and preparations of the classic French bistro and Chef Rich Torrisi enlivens them utilizing modern techniques and bold flavors from French outposts.

Major Food Group also owns Carbone, Torrisi, Parm, Parm at Yankee Stadium and ZZ’s Clam Bar. Up next, a High Line Italian/American restaurant.

Eat well and party. I loved the soundtrack…any restaurant that plays Springsteen and Billy Idol at mealtime is okay in my book. I must admit that the only drawback were the acoustics. Hearing was a bit of a problem, but that was a minor issue compared to the unbelievably creative and downright amazing food at Dirty French.

For a truly unforgettable meal get down and Dirty French…securing a reservation may be a bit of a challenge, but keep trying. It is well worth the effort. Alternatively, get a room. Dirty French handles the Hotel Ludlow’s room service.



Dirty French 180 Ludlow Street Lower East Side, NYC. Dinner daily 5:30-11:30pm. Reservations accepted 1 month in advance on OpenTable or by phone 212.254.3000.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *