The Dish: Dining’s Finest

by Catherine Trifiletti

Experience reigns supreme at Métier. 

There are gestures, big and small, that comprise a fine dining experience. In the case of Eric Ziebold and his wife Celia Laurent’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Métier, the apogee is a fixed, seven-course menu that dazzles the senses. Operating from that essential foundation, Ziebold and Laurent have created a one-of-a-kind culinary journey that strikes an effortless balance between natural and methodical. It’s elevated dining that doesn’t fall into any clichés. In the Métier space, designed by Darryl Carter, intimacy is automatic, as if you have just been invited into the couple’s chic living room. With degrees in culinary arts and hospitality respectively, Ziebold and Laurent’s knack for hosting is a vocation and a passion. Ziebold calls Métier, which translates to a skilled trade in French, their “professional dream and achievement.”

High standards are set once guests book a reservation and complete a questionnaire regarding preferences, opening a line of communication that is maintained throughout the course of the evening. Upon arrival, a private elevator transports visitors to the subterranean Salon—a candlelit, jazz -filled respite meant to ease the transition from average diner to spoiled guest.

In The Salon, you can peruse the couple’s personal collection of books and review the tasting menu’s descriptions detailing the stories and inspiration behind each dish. The fixed-menu format was devised to eliminate decision fatigue, leaving diners with one choice: wine pairings or not (might we humbly suggest saying yes).

The next phase of the evening commences in the dining room, where each of the 11 tables is precisely situated to face a large picture window into the kitchen. The team has tweaked seating arrangements, Ziebold explains, so that every diner can equally enjoy a dose of culinary theater. Both food and wine selections, which change seasonally, build in “weight and richness,” which translates to diners feeling satisfied, but not full. Understanding that no one likes an abrupt end to a good party, Ziebold and Laurent encourage guests to take coffee, tea or a digestif from the bar cart in The Salon for a nightcap. “I want the guest to have an interesting and creative experience,” Ziebold says, “more soulful than intellectual.”

Métier | dinner Weds. – Sat. | $200 prix-fixe | $200 wine pairings | jackets required | Mé

NO DETAILS OVERLOOKED: A hostess snaps a Polaroid of each party before dinner, which is later placed in a ribbon bound booklet amid descriptions of the evening’s food and beverage selections. The memento and a bottle of chef-made salad dressing are thoughtful parting gifts. Lighting levels are just so: “bright enough so that guests can see what they are eating, but low enough to create a mood,” Ziebold affirms. There are no direct HVAC outputs. Consistent airflow ensures guests’ comfort. Still cold? The restaurant keeps lush pashminas on hand for chilly patrons.

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