Rising from the ashes of its former glory, Pomme Frites (pronounced “Palm feet”, just with an R), the greasy East Village french fry institution has opened its doors once again. After a gas explosion took out the former site of the restaurant, owners Omer Shorshi and Suzanne Levinson spent 14 months finding the perfect spot and prepping to open the new version of their french fry-based restaurant.
The restaurant, which used to style itself as a European eating room, has updated its decor to create the ambiance of a medieval mead hall, replete with reclaimed wood and lighting emanating from lanterns. The main draw of Pomme Frites is not only its fries — which are made by frying the potatoes twice — but its sauces. The establishment boasts a variety of over 25 sauces, each with its own flavor profile and story.
Shorshi would not be surprised if first-time customers found Pomme Frites’ vast selection of sauces overwhelming.
“Really our only marketing strategy is samples,” Shorshi said. “People who come for the first time can ask for as many samples as they want as many times as they want until they find something that they like.”
For those who prefer sweetness, the mango chutney sauce is a highlight and bestseller. It gently complements the fried saltiness of the fries and works great with other sauces. In a similar vein, the Vietnamese Pineapple sauce is a bolder way to add some sweetness to the fries, better suited to those who enjoy well crafted and layered flavors. In the salty vein, patrons can opt for the Rosemary Garlic sauce, a basic that brilliantly balances two strong flavors without letting either overpower the other.
Right in the middle of these two spectrums is the Black Truffle Mayo, the undisputed best sauce at Pomme Frites. Though it costs $2.25 extra, the investment is worth it for a committed foodie attempting to titillate and captivate their taste buds. Other highlights include the Fig Bordeaux sauce, and the newly introduced Tequila and Lime Chipotle sauce, the TLC.
For those worried that the flavors are too far from a familiar palate, Shorshi had an answer.
“We Americanized the menu a lot,” Shorshi said. “We realized that people here just like different flavors, so we had to adapt a little bit”.
Prior to the restaurant’s 14-month closing, its convenient location in the St. Marks area made it a favorite of NYU students.
Long time Pomme Frites fan and Tisch sophomore Neil Bhatia has a suggestion for anyone missing the homey Chik-fil-a flavors that are so hard to come by in the city.
“The Pomegranate Teriyaki Mayo tastes just like Chik-fil-a sauce,” Bhatia said. “That being said, I do think the Garlic Mayo had far too much garlic in it”.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 12 print edition. Email Yorai Vardi [email protected]