The goods: Actor Olivier Martinez (Halle Berry’s fiancé) and restaurateurs Jean-Philippe Bernard and Michael Martin bring Villa Azur, a plush European supper club, wine bar and gourmet market, to the Beach.
Ambience: The cavernous hideaway on 23rd Street is bedecked with chandeliers, flowing white curtains and giant black and white photos of St. Tropez. A small lounge area is flanked by fireplaces, bookshelves and cozy booths, while a spacious patio offers white leather couches.
The grub: High-end Mediterranean. Executive Chef Mickael Bensa’s menu includes extensive caviar selections, black truffle-adorned sides, seafood towers piled with oysters and crustaceans, whole fish deboned tableside and massive slabs of chateaubriand for two. Prices are for the deep-pocketed: starters $12-$24, mains $21-$45 and desserts $12.
Fresh ciabatta rolls, sliced sourdough baguettes and butter prime the palate for fried calamari with a slightly spicy marinara, beef tartare with quail egg and sea bream ceviche with tangerine slices. A handful of pastas include rigatoni with morel mushroom sauce and penne rigate in a caviar-topped vodka cream sauce. Mains include prime beef tenderloin, artichoke-stuffed veal filet mignon, branzino with roasted pepper coulis and scallops on leek fondue.
Desserts include “open-face” mint chocolate profiteroles, Crepe Suzette and delicate French strawberry, pineapple, chocolate and pistachio macaroons.
Verdict: This elegant landlocked spot evokes a windswept coastal getaway.