La Grenouille (restaurant)

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La Genouille Restaurant
Industry Food and Entertainment
Founded 1962[1]
Founder The Massons, Charles Sr. and Gisèle
Headquarters New York City, U.S.
Key people
Charles Masson, Philippe Masson

La Grenouille is a historic and award-winning French restaurant located at 3 East 52nd Street (between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue) in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Founded in 1962 by former Henri Soulé apprentice Charles Masson, Sr. and his wife Gisèle, later with sons Philippe and Charles, La Grenouille (Fr., "The Frog") became a location of choice among New York, U.S., and eventually international diners, including designers from the nearby New York fashion district.[2] It is the last operating New York French haute cuisine restaurant from the 1960s, and remains a highly rated restaurant.


La Grenouille is located at 3 East 52nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.,[1][3]


The restaurant was founded in 1962 by Charles Masson, Sr., a former Henri Soulé apprentice,[4] and his wife Gisèle. After the passing of Charles Sr. in 1975, Gisele continued to manage the restaurant until 2010. Charles Jr. assisted Gisele with her management duties from 1975 until 1994, when Charles Jr. left the restaurant. At that time, Gisele’s younger son Philippe took over Charles Jr.’s duties until 2000, whereupon Charles Jr. returned and assisted Gisele until 2014. La Grenouille is currently operated by Philippe Masson, and has been since 2014.[2] It is the last operating New York French haute cuisine restaurant from the 1960s,[5] having outlasted other well-known French restaurants like Lutèce, which closed in 2004.[2]


The menu of La Grenouille is essentially entirely "haute French cuisine,"[1] with customer menus presenting the French names of classic and more modern dishes, followed by the English, and an English description.[6]


Aside from its haute French cuisine, La Grenouille is notable for its clientele, and is considered a location of choice among New York, U.S., and international diners.[3] A segment of this clientele includes designers from the nearby New York fashion district;[3] it has been spoken of as a hotspot for its notables, e.g. Elle magazine creative director Joe Zee.[7]

In addition, the restaurant is famous for its lavish floral arrangements, a tradition started by Charles Masson, Sr. and continued by his son Philippe Masson, and reflected in a decor ranking that places it in the top tier of New York Restaurants.[1][8]

In 1972 W magazine referred to it one of "Les Six, the last bastions of grand luxe dining in New York." The other five were Lutèce, La Caravelle, La Côte Basque, Lafayette, and Quo Vadis.[9] La Grenouille is the last operating New York French haute cuisine restaurant from the 1960s, a time when it dominated New York City's French haute cuisine.[10]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bill Addison, 2014, "Review, The Road to the 38: Three Critics at La Grenouille in NYC," Eater (online), May 20, 2014, see [5], accessed 28 April 2015.


  1. ^ a b c d Zagat, 2015, "New York City, Rating and Reviews: La Grenouille," Zagat (online), see [1], accessed 28 April 2015. Quote: "Still 'extraordinaire' after 'so many years', this Midtown 'institution' leaves 'all your senses satisfied' with 'superb' haute French cuisine, 'pampering' service and a 'soigné' setting festooned with 'soaring floral arrangements'; jackets and deep pockets are de rigueur here, but it’s 'well worth the splurge' for a 'memorable' meal at what is surely the 'last of its breed'; P.S. the departure of its beloved front-of-house leader, Charles Masson, has loyalists waiting to see what happens next."
  2. ^ Pauline Trigère, Exemplar of American Style, Dies at 93
  3. ^ a b c History
  4. ^ Charles Masson, Owner Of La Grenouille, Is Dead
  5. ^ La Grenouille, Restaurants, French, Midtown East, TIME OUT SAYS
  6. ^ NY Mag, 2015, " La Grenouille Menu, 2015" New York Magazine (online), see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-28. , accessed 28 April 2015.
  7. ^ Alexandra Vallis, 2009, "Elle Creative Director Joe Zee Styles Julia Roberts, Loves Roadside Burritos and Setagaya," New York Magazine, now Grub Street (online), March 20, 2009, see [2], accessed 28 April 2015
  8. ^ Zagat, 2015, "Top Restaurants, New York City - 2015," Zagat (online), see [3], accessed 28 April 2015.
  9. ^ Colatello, Bob (30 January 2012). "Here's to the Ladies Who Lunched!". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  10. ^ Mimi Sheraton, 2007, "The Frog at Forty-Five," The New Yorker (online), December 24, 2007, see [4], accessed 28 April 2015 (subscription required)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′34.6″N 73°58′32.11″W / 40.759611°N 73.9755861°W / 40.759611; -73.9755861