By Carol Tannenhauser
“Long-time neighborhood mainstay La Mirabelle, which closed as the pandemic began, appears now to be gone for good,” long-time Upper West Sider Ed Hersh emailed West Side Rag at around 6 p.m. on Saturday.
At around 10 p.m., we learned that the celebrated French restaurant is indeed gone, but, hopefully, not for good.
“We will reopen in a new location in the very near future,” a representative from the restaurant, identifying themselves as NC, answered the Rag’s query. We assume that means on the UWS, but we’re awaiting confirmation. “We will definitely let you know when we do! We appreciate all the support throughout the years!”
Ed Hersh’s email was one of several tips about the closing of the restaurant that the Rag received. Earlier, one had come in with no message, simply a photograph of La Mirabelle with a large “For Lease” sign in the window, under the subject heading: “A collective oh no!”
In between the two tips, WSR verified that La Mirabelle’s phone was not in working order, you couldn’t book a table there through Open Table, nor place an order for takeout or delivery.
“Because of its location by a bus stop, outdoor dining wasn’t really an option for them, the owner told me when I saw him briefly last winter,” Ed added. “The place has a long history, starting over on 86th between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, and, more recently, on 86th and Columbus.”
Here is how USA Today described La Mirabelle a few years ago, when they placed it number five on their list of the ten best French restaurants in all of New York CIty:
La Mirabelle often appears at the top of lists of most loved neighborhood restaurants. Unstuffy, honest and gentle, its patrons have been returning for decades. Annick Le Douaron, a transplanted Breton, brought her love of bistro fare, fresh ingredients and European hospitality to this corner of the city. Although this chatelaine of La Mirabelle passed away [in 2015], her daughter Natalie and her husband have embraced the role. Highly recommended is the roasted duckling with plums, which is crispy, juicy, while the sweetbreads are rich and memorable. The dining room is cozy but not crowded and unlike many new venues, you need not strain to hear your dining partner. Softly lit, the walls are decorated with Gallic paintings of rustic scenes that set the tone. Ever since La Mirabelle debuted in 1984, it has cultivated loyal patronage that spans generations.
And generations to come, hopefully! We will keep you posted.