The former Upper East Side bistro announced it was relocating to the North Fork shortly before COVID-19 led to delays that prevented its opening. But a new partnership with the Greenport hotel means the French-inspired cuisine is now available.
Owners of the Menhaden, Kristen and Daniel Pennessi, reached out to Emily Demarchelier of Demarchelier Bistro, which was supposed to open in April in Greenport.
“They contacted me in mid-May and asked me how things were going. I told them I had delays, and I was just going to be patient,” she said. “And they asked if I would be interested in taking over the food and beverage operations at the hotel.”
At first, she was hesitant to take on the task. “I thought there was no way. I mean I am not going to compete against myself,” she said. “That just seems like a lot to take on. But then I went and visited the hotel and saw the kitchen. It’s a 40-seat restaurant like the bistro.
So Demarchelier accepted the offer, and brought on her brother Benjamin Demarchelier as an equal partner at both spots, to help with the increased workload.
“I realized that I could easily take both on and have different menus at both places,” she said. They opened last weekend for the first time.
“It was a soft opening without marketing, and we had better than expected numbers,” Benjamin Demarchelier said.
“We are thrilled,” Emily Demarchelier added. “I did a little bit of social media announcements, but no major marketing. And the customers were happy with the food.”
To keep the two Demarchieler spots different, the partners plan on keeping the menus different to fit the styles of each location.
“It’s two totally different menus,” Emily Demarchlier said. “Demarchelier at the Menhaden is a restaurant within a hotel. We are there to service the guests and restaurant guests and it’s branded as the hotel.”
“The bistro is a Demarchelier-branded space,” she continued. “So you will walk in and feel like you’re in France. While at the Menhaden, it’s a more modern space in line with the hotel’s marketing. That’s how we wanted it to be. We didn’t want to change the hotel.”
The menu at the bistro will be more laid back with charcuterie plates and cheese boards, while Demarchelier at the Menhaden will focus more on being a full-service menu with plenty of entrée options. The restaurant at the hotel had been the site of The Merchant’s Wife, which operated for one seasone.
Plans to open the Demarchelier Bistro are still a bit on hold, as Emily Demarchelier is waiting on a few things from the landlord, but she hopes to open soon. For now, she is happy with the partnership she has developed with the Menhaden, and she and her brother plan to continue it past the bistro’s opening.
“We are just really excited. Dan and Kristen are great people,” she said. “We love the hotel, and I think it’s going to be a really good partnership between Demarchelier and the Menhaden going forward.”
Demarchelier at the Menhaden is open Thursday and Friday 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. with plans to expand the hours soon.