Pharrell’s Favorite Chef, Jean Imbert, Just Opened a Restaurant in New York City
Lenny Kravitz, Robert De Niro, and Dua Lipa have already made appearances at the just-opened hotspot.
You may not be able to rent yachts and stay at five-star hotels like Bey and Jay, but now that Parisian chef Jean Imbert — who has personally cooked for the power couple — has opened a restaurant in New York City, us regular folk can get a taste of the high life, too.
Imbert has been racking up accolades ever since opening his celeb-favorite restaurant, L’Acajou, in Paris’16th arrondissement, at age 22. He won season three of Top Chef France and the Top Chef France Champions competition the following year; penned two cookbooks, one of which has an intro by Jamie Oliver; opened two other eateries in the City of Lights; and this past summer, teamed up with Pharrell Williams to open a joint restaurant, Swan, in Miami’s Design District.
But don’t let his A-list connections fool you into thinking that Encore, which opened in New York City’s Meatpacking District last month, is the kind of velvet-rope spot where you have to slip the hostess a $50 to get a table. To the contrary, the restaurant’s vibe is very comfortable and dressed-down, belying its famous clientele (Dua Lipa, Robert De Niro, and Lenny Kravitz have already made appearances) and address in the party-centric Lower Manhattan ‘hood.
The food is similarly low-key (in the best way possible) and incorporates organic, seasonal ingredients in playful dishes like creamy polenta topped with grilled corn and popcorn and focaccia with pear and stracciatella. Leave room for the chocolate/caramel/sea salt dessert, whose sweet-salty deliciousness is second to its geometric, Instagram-ready presentation.
Speaking of the ‘Gram, you’ll want to snap a few photos of the massive artwork by elusive French photographer and graffiti artist JR, as well as Imbert’s personal collection of iconic movie posters.