Where NY

April 2002

by Francis Lewis

Lawrence Scott is not to be pitied. Lawrence Scott, the chef and restaurateur, is to be revered. Like many a chef in this food lover’s city, Scott graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America before venturing forth to France to hone his craft. In Paris, he worked at the Hotel de Crillon and Lucas Carton; in Monte Carlo, he had the oppurtunity of a lifetime for an American: a gig at Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV at the Hotel de Paris. It was in Monte Carlo that Scott suffered the motorcycle accident that paralyzed him from the waist down and confines him to a wheelchair.

Tragic? Not when the dream of owning your own restaurant propels you forward. Cut to New York and Lawrence Scott Restaurant on the Upper East Side, a seasonal New American bistro and one of the most accomplished restaurants to open in the Big Apple last year. You need to know nothing about Scott’s personal history to know that a great talent is at work in this kitchen.

For an appetizer, he perfumes a delicate French egg tart with bacon and extravagantly dusts it with truffles. He braises beef short ribs with gusto-and Cabarnet-for a delicious main course. Chilean Sea Bass is marinated with miso, while sesame-crusted ahi tuna also speaks with an Asian accent: Its side is a zesty mound of wasabi mashed potatoes. Much attention has been paid to detail with much success. Service is attentive and caring; the wine list boasts many discoveries from home and abroad-and at moderate prices; the ambience is low-key and romantic. The room basks in a warm beauty dominated by the colorful and bold Sol LeWitt painting, created especially for Lawrence Scott.