When founders Mark Di Giulio and Peter Meltzer first began exploring the idea of opening their own restaurant, they were on a mission. Paris was one of their favorite destinations, and the kind of intimate, traditional bistro they loved there was nowhere to be found here – in New York City.
Traditional Parisian bistros offer a “simple kind of cooking,” Peter Meltzer explained. “We like to call it cooking in primary colors.” The seasoning is clear and simple. The carefully researched recipes allow the food to taste like what it is…and what it should be.
“That’s classic and that’s what we do at QUATORZE bis.”
The original QUATORZE opened in 1984 on 14th Street. Some people called it Fourteen. But le Roi-Soleil – the Sun King himself, would have none of it. Louis XIV stepped in and put his royal fork down, that is, at least by way of New Yorker cartoonist, Jack Ziegler.
Mark and Peter had seen Mr. Ziegler’s illustration of Louis Quatorze waiting on the 14th Street subway platform, and they wondered if Louis le Grand would honor them with a visit. Ziegler agreed and Louis ended up staying through dessert and the eventual move to the Upper East Side.
QUATORZE bis on East 79th Street opened in 1990. It has become a central part of the neighborhood. Owner Peter Meltzer noted: “We do as much as possible to make the customer feel at home.”
Indeed. Just as the wine list is designed “to serve the food,” so are the surroundings. Soft lighting and white tablecloths. Vintage Parisian posters. Specials of the daily menu are placed on blackboard at every table.
People eat, drink and converse here. Service is attentive and helpful. The owners, whom you’ll see on most nights, pride themselves on consistency of food and character.
Yes… Let’s get back to that classic French bistro. Family-run, with a menu of savory favorites. It’s the kind of place you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere; even in Paris.
Since Peter Meltzer passing, Alex McNeice, our General Manager on 79th Street, stepped up to the plate (pardon the pun) and has done an amazing job keeping all things QUATORZE. He joins Mark as partner in our new location.
Ernest Hemingway once called Paris a moveable feast. We at QUATORZE concur; for the feast is alive and well, here on East 82nd Street.
Join us as we enter into our thirty-seventh year.
We have even maintained our same telephone number:
(212) 535 1414.