La Ferme

A country French dining room with a romantic outdoor terrace.

From January 2004 100 Very Best Restaurants

The look is elegant country French, and the tinkling ivories in the background make the dining rooms seem more like an ongoing dinner party than a restaurant. Chef Phillipe Maigrot turns out cuisine that is by turns classic and modern and at times has a Morrocan fillip.

Silky crab custard and a salmon-lobster terrine with a fusiony lemongrass-ginger sabayon show just what this kitchen is capable of. Salads like endive, bleu cheese, and walnuts are deftly done. If you're a calf's-liver fan, this is the place–the same goes for sweetbreads with portobello mousse. Flemish-style beer-braised chicken with sauerkraut and red-skinned potatoes is a bow to Belgium, while a plate of lamb chops with spicy merguez (lamb sausage) and a sauce of yogurt with cumin and mint evokes Tangiers.

In a world with a surfeit of Key-lime pie and flourless chocolate cake, La Ferme's desserts get kudos. Pistachio-cherry crumble with house-made vanilla-yogurt sorbet is a hall-of-famer, and Valrhona-chocolate terrine with red-wine-cinammon sorbet is not far behind. For lovers of tradition, there are outstanding house-made ice creams and sorbets and the airiest of soufflés.

Open Tuesday through Friday for lunch, Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Sunday for brunch.