La Mercerie is a visually stunning French café located inside the Roman Williams Guild in SoHo, where you can enjoy pastries and profiteroles, and classic French dishes on gorgeous pottery and plates, which can be purchased via the card conveniently located on your table. It’s posh, pretty, overpriced, and commoditized — very appropriately SoHo.
The space is absolutely stunning: step through the tall doorways of the navy exterior that sits on a quiet corner in SoHo into a bright, airy, and bustling space. At the front of the restaurant is a charming flower shop, behind it, a pastry case and a counter facing the open kitchen. The center of the restaurant has charming, red booths with café-style two-top tables. To the back lies the beautiful, decadent, and glamorous decor of Roman Williams Guild.
As this is the consummate location for a girls brunch before you shop ‘til you drop, reservations are hard to come by. So if you’re planning to host guests for brunch, you should make reservations far in advance. We were lucky to snag a table after a no-show on a reservation and some pleading with a kind hostess.
The plating and set-up of our table was charming, and the servers are all dressed in the classic French fashion, with white aprons. The attention to detail is exceptional—from the coffees to the menus to the details around the space. This is a highly Instagram-worthy experience—a new take on high tea, if you will.
In typical French fashion, the menu offers cheese plates, eggs cocotte, Nicoise salads, and a classic thyme chicken. There are limited brunch options, primarily eggs and buckwheat crêpes. If you’re not in the mood for fancy French food or crêpes, La Mercerie is not the destination for you.
The coffee service was actually our favorite part of the meal: beautiful, tall lattes and cappuccinos served in gorgeous, tall glasses filled with frothy lattes on a beautiful, scalloped clay serving dish. They tasted just as pretty as they looked.
The pastries looked delicious, but as it was late in the day, many were sold out. There were no croissants available, so we choose a classic French pound cake. It was fine, though nothing exceptional.
We shared a cheese plate, selecting three of the five cheeses, with two French cow’s milk cheeses and a goat’s milk cheese from Indiana. The plating was simple, the bread fresh, and the cheese utterly decadent. This is a solid cheese plate—executed simply—though not worthy of the main event.
Given the limited vegetarian options, our token veggie Bitch ordered the salad verte, with pears, cabernet vinaigrette, and toasted walnuts. It was a satisfying portion, though a bit heavy on the dressing.
We were tempted by the blinis du caviar, but at the $75 price point we decided to abstain, save our shopping money and go with the smoked salmon blini with creme fraiche. The salmon was fresh, the blinis fluffy, and the dish otherwise good but unremarkable. The portion was rather small—and could have used some eggs. We left brunch hungry.
The Bitches say: 3 champagne flutes. A beautiful space that’s a lot of style with less substance. The food was good, and the service was fine, but the prices are too high and the food doesn’t leave an impression worthy of the space.
La Mercerie serves breakfast 9 a.m.-noon then an all-day menu until 10 p.m. everyday. (212) 852-9097