Fear not, Piermont. Alain Eigenmann hasn’t gone far.
He may no longer be at Piermont's , but Eigenmann is still in the area—and much closer than you think.
Alain’s French Bistro is now open at 9 Ingalls Street—right off of Route 59—in Central Nyack, just minutes from Main Street.
"In my experience, a successful restaurant should have its own personality... a combination of great food and charming ambiance," Eigenmann said during a recent interview, detailing what can make an eatery thrive. "Through the years, I have strived to maintain this focus, including my latest endeavor, Alain's Bistro in Nyack."
Through the years is a perfect way to follow the talented Eigenmann, who began cooking in his birthplace, Alsace, France at the age of 13. It was a rigorous four-year apprenticeship that led to some worthwhile experiences.
“I was soon working with well known chefs from the major regions of France," Eigenmann said. "Some of them were Michelin Star rated, which for a young boy was a great privilege and honor."
Having acquired knowledge of the essence of French cuisine, Eigenman then decided to further his culinary skills in a completely different environment: the United States. He arrived in our country at the age of 23 and, two short years later, unveiled his initial restaurant, Alain's Bistro in Norwood, NJ. And he opened Alain's buttressed by a very strong belief and ethic.
"Since my earliest days, I have believed that good food is based on quality and authenticity, and I have stayed close to my roots of creating classic French cuisine while incorporating my own style," Eigenmann said. "I discovered that by combining different cooking techniques with authentic recipes and ingredients, one can appreciate the strengths of classic French cuisine presented in a refreshing new style."
From there, he and partner Daout Celestin opened Alain’s Sidewalk Bistro in Piermont. He has also in the past honed his trade at Raoul’s in Nyack, and was Executive Chef at Provence in Manhattan.
With the understanding that fine French cuisine requires a particular attention to detail, Eigenmann has now moved away from the high volume format that was present in Norwood and Piermont, embarking on a more intimate, personal, 30-seat-lounge, 70-seat-restaurant in Nyack. And the locale has, perhaps, divine intervention in its materials.
"A Protestant church had caught fire, and I got a call from a friend of mine who is in the property business," Eigenmann said. "He rents and sells stuff for movies, and he called me one to me if I’d like to see the church. There were about 25 pews and a few other wall units. So I took apart the pew and cut them for the bar and the back bar."
"A smaller, cozier environment and sole proprietorship has allowed me to achieve my goal of providing fine French cuisine, in a comfortable rustic atmosphere, at very affordable prices," he added. What this means is great food at reasonable prices, with Eigenmann getting to personally know his clientele by their first names.
There are many favorites on the menu: for appetizers, consider the traditional escargot with garlic butter or the mussels mariniere with catalan or curry. A plate of assorted French cheeses with walnut bread and grapes is also available prior to your entrée, where highlighted are L’onglet a l’echalote (black angus hanger steak with shallots in a red wine sauce and potato puree), a classic Lapin a la moutarde (roasted rabbit with mustard sauce and sautéed spaetzle) and more. Of course, soups, salads and a variety of other entrees are available.
Also, knowing that great experience is required in creating quality cuisine, he has tapped 17 year veteran Manuel Cuautle as his Executive Chef. "In addition to working with me for many years, Manuel has worked for some of the finest chefs in Manhattan," Eigenmann explained. "Together, we collaborate on how best to create a most enjoyable dining experience."
Alain's French Bistro: Route 59/9 Ingalls Street, Central Nyack, (845) 535-3315, www.alainsbistro.com