If a concept is strong, Chef Westermann understands that the lifetime of a restaurant should not expand beyond 10 years. With any concept, he knows when to turn the page and move forward.
Mon Vieil Ami, 2003 – 2016
Mon Vieil Ami was one of the first bistros of a 3 Michelin Star Chef where the focus was on vegetables, a tribute to the familial way of preparing veggies. Antoine Westermann sourced from the best vegetable farmers to create a menu where each dish was vegetable-centric and meats were accompaniments. In 2016, Mon Vieil Ami was sold to focus on the opening of Le Coq Rico in New York.
He reinvented traditional French and desserts hors d’œuvres by introducing an ambitious selection of 18 small plates of which each guest could select 4. When ordered among multiple people, the dishes created a glorious table feast. Chef also introduced the concept of including sides in the price of the seasonal entree where guests were allowed to select from a list.
Drouant‘s appeal was granting guests the liberty to choose as many side dishes as they desired, creating an indulgent and satiating experience where guests felt at home.
Chef re-established the daily special with classic French dishes prepared his way, such as Bouchée à la reine, Tête de veau vinaigrette, Poulet rôti frites salade, and Pot-au-feu. These dishes won multiple awards and people traveled across the city to taste them.
Drouant was sold to the Gardinier family of restauranteurs in 2018 so that Antoine Westermann could continue to focus on poultry.
Le Coq Rico – The Bistro of Beautiful Birds, 2012 – Present
Le Coq Rico is the first-ever poultry centric restaurant where Westermann utilizes his signature slow-cooking technique of poaching then roasting a bird. It opened its first location in Paris in 2012 and the second one in New York City in 2016. The restaurant was named one of “The Best New York Restaurants of 2016” and Chef’s Ile Flottante was named “Top 10 New York Dishes of 2016” by The New York Times.