Field Notes: Rotisserie Georgette
Maybe it's the restaurant's signature spinning ovens, hypnotic once you catch a glimpse of them through the massive window of David Malbequi's kitchen, but Rotisserie Georgette (14 East 60th Street, 212-390-8060) has us reeling over its gussied up poultry. Brined over night, the birds are all but flawless, accompanied by a choice of sauces (poulet roti, $24) or adorned with seared foie gras and mushroom stuffing (poule de luxe, $72 for two).
The "de luxe" is no doubt an opulent experience, but there's something nice about spending under $30 for an entree in this zip code, and the poulet roti resonates as a family chicken dinner gone blue blood (without the genealogical afflictions and strained conversation). Brining gives the meat exceptional moistness, and the cooking method allows for crisp, burnished skin. As for sauces, Provençal coaxes mellow tones out of herbes de provence with a backbone of garlic (accentuated by a bronzed head of roasted garlic that comes alongside every plate). A timidly spicy "diable" and rich "grand mère" -- with red wine, mushrooms, and bacon -- are also on offer, ready to pour over impeccably crisp skin.
Georgette Farkas, the restaurant's eponymous matriarch, floats through the dining room greeting patrons and ceremoniously delivering dishes to the table with bouyant charm. A half chicken is brawny; the portion is enough to split if you're peckish, even more so if you start with an appetizer like airy gnocchi the size of mini-marshmallows drowned (in a positive way) with mushrooms and parmesan. Pair your vajazzled poultry with seasonal vegetable sides and a who's who of wholly satisfying pureed, stuffed, roasted, and fried potatoes.