Chef Nick Anderer intended his new restaurant, Anton’s, to be a tribute to the European-inspired foods of Old New York. Yet angel-hair francese, one of the menu’s “macaronis,” is an invented pasta based on an Italian-American meat preparation that can’t be found in the Old Country. Chicken francese — or “chicken French,” as it’s sometimes called — evolved from veal francese, a dish of lightly floured and egg-washed cutlets sautéed in a pan and drizzled with a lemony, buttery pan sauce. (The butter, apparently, is what makes it “French.”) Anderer first dreamed up his francese-inspired pasta not in his own kitchen but as a regular customer at Gene’s, the 100-year-old Greenwich Village relic whose matchbooks once read “French Italian cuisine” and whose well-preserved menu still offers escargot and vichyssoise. Whenever Anderer orders the chicken francese, which is always, he asks for angel hair in place of the default spaghetti and some extra francese sauce to dip it in. For his (cutletless) riff, says Anderer, “we fuss it up but just a little.”
On the menu at Anton’s; $18; 570 Hudson St., at 11th St.; 212-924-0818
*This article appears in the December 9, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!