On a balmy summer night in July, I joined André De Shields and Merle Frimark for dinner at Chez Josephine on Theater Row in New York. Upon entering the elegant French bistro, I was warmly greeted by Jean-Claude Baker, owner and host of Chez Josephine, who ushered me to my table with André, opposite the bar.
Chez Josephine is Jean-Claude Baker’s tribute to his adopted mother, Josephine Baker. The restaurant is decorated with a blue-tin ceiling, red velvet walls, chandeliers which light up the vintage portraits of La Baker and features live music. Once Merle arrived, we toasted our rare evening of leisure with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut. We took advantage of the special three-course meal offerings prepared by Chef Diaz and his team for Summer Restaurant Week at Chez Josephine for $38.
While André and Merle enjoyed their Heirloom Tomato Salads with Baby Mache and a Dijon Vinaigrette dressing, I savored my Escargots à la Bourguignonne, a favorite treat of mine since childhood. I’ve been hankering for a steak all week, and the Grilled Skirt Steak served with Torpedo Shallots and Pomme Frites, which André and I ordered, did not disappoint. Merle opted for the Crispy Soft-Shell Crab Tempura served with Aromatic Couscous and Herb Pesto, which she devoured. A refreshing assortment of Summer Berries and Lemon Sorbet, and a plate of macarons proved the perfect finish to our meals, complimented by shots of Grand Marnier, courtesy of a very attentive Jean-Claude.
Summer Restaurant Week continues through August 15, 2014. Chez Josephine 414 West 42nd Street, NYC (212) 594-1925 Click here to reserve online. Two time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields, who played the title role in the original Broadway production of The Wiz, recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary of The Wiz in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall, where he sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard.”
André begins rehearsal in August for the world premiere new musical The Fortress of Solitude, a co-production with Dallas Theater Center and The Public Theater in New York City, which will have performances at The Public, September 30 – November 2, 2014. The Fortress of Solitude is based on the nationally best-selling novel of the same name by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Lethem. The musical is conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, with a book by Itamar Moses, and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The Fortress of Solitude is the extraordinary coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond — of black and white, soul and rap, block parties and blackouts, friendship and betrayal, comic books and 45s. And the story of what would happen if two teenagers obsessed with superheroes believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.
Click here to learn more about The Fortress of Solitude.
Other articles on Restaurants and Chefs:
The Dish on Susur Lee and Shang
Dishin’ Favorites: Katz’s Pastrami at The Shop at Andaz
Juicy Buns at Ollie’s
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Master Chef Martin Yan at the 5th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas
Other articles by Lia Chang:
Mar. 7-Apr. 6: André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo and More Set for DTC’s World Premiere Musical The Fortress of Solitude, A Co-Production with The Public Theater
Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
June 23: André De Shields, Billy Porter, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts and More Set for The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Jeffrey Katzenberg Among 12 to Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein
Late Night Singing with Garth Kravits at 54 Below with The Skivvies, at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland and Michael Raye’s Soul Gathering
Photos and Video: Ben Vereen Performs at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos and Video: Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls perform at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Remembering Frank Trenholm Lyman III, 1968-2014; Fund Established for The Lyman Children
Remembering Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama, 1921-2014
Ruby Dee, Actress and Activist, 1922 – 2014
Fred Korematsu, American Hero and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 86
July 31-Aug. 3: Drama Desk Nominee Joel de la Fuente stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at ACT, Helmed by Lisa Rothe
Bryan Cranston, Audra McDonald, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Lena Hall, Sophie Okonedo, Kenny Leon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, All The Way, A Raisin in the Sun, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and More Take Home 2014 Tony Awards
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career
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Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at email@example.com