Running a successful restaurant is both a science and an art. Le Jardin du Roi combines elegant service, laid back style and twists on classic culinary creations.
Originally opened as a white table cloth French bistro with his brother-in-law, Joe Quartararo has morphed this excellent little restaurant tucked away on King Street into a “French-BBQ-Latin Fusion-Café-Bar” food experience. A favorite among locals, Le Jardin du Roi is not too fancy, but not too casual. “We want patrons to feel like our restaurant is an extension of their home” says Wendy Egan, restaurant manager. We are so fortunate to have a core business of mainly families who come for brunch, birthdays and holiday meals.”
Customers love to linger over breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner in this serene setting awash with color. Joe’s wife, Donna, has designed the gardens to be a feast for the eyes throughout the seasons. Sumptuous weekend brunch is often accompanied with a live jazz band. As the outdoor patio business winds down with the cooler weather, the inside dining room is warm and inviting.
While “Les hamburgers” are very popular (try the Burger du Roi, topped with fried egg, bacon and Swiss cheese), there are occasional wine dinners with food pairings, all day breakfast and authentic, award winning BBQ. Lobster roll sliders and soft shell crabs appear seasonally along with traditional French cassoulet and coq au vin as the leaves start to fall. Take-out orders are available for pick up anytime.
Joe is always open to customer’s suggestions. “We added meatloaf and chicken milanese as a special because customers asked for comfort food.” While there is no kids’ menu, the menu is kid friendly and parents should feel free to ask for chicken fingers, pasta with butter and pancakes. The word “no” doesn’t come out of our mouth unless we don’t have the product”, says Joe.
BBQ ribs, brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, chicken wings and house made pigs-in-a-blanket made their debut for Super Bowl 2008 and is now the heart of Le Jardin’s catering business. Cristiaan Lorson, Joe’s business partner and resident Pit Master, learned the art of smoking BBQ from his brother Ted, of Q Haven BBQ of Orange, C.T. Together the brothers have competed in the Jack Daniels BBQ World Championship, the top BBQ contest in the United States. The success of BBQ on the menu has expanded Le Jardin du Roi’s business plan to include full scale catering for weddings, family parties, holidays and corporate events.
Le Jardin du Roi participates in the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week in the fall and spring, a two week regional foodie extravaganza where restaurants offer prix-fixe menus to showcase their dishes and drinks. “People hear “French” and “Chappaqua” and they might be intimidated so this is an opportunity to draw them out,” says Cristiaan.
Joe is grateful to become part of the greater Chappaqua community, generously supporting local charities and education organizations over the years. “This is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle, it’s like a family. We have met so many people and have seen their kids grow up. We’re glad to make a difference here.” He adds, “When we give a donation to an organization, it comes back to us ten-fold.”
A cozy destination in the downtown, Le Jardin du Roi celebrates its 17th year on January 25, 2018. Joe, Cristiaan, Wendy, Chef Rudy, the kitchen team and the waitstaff are optimistic about the current revitalization plans and anticipate more foot traffic to all the local businesses. Their simple approach to dining is to remain easy and approachable, offering consistently good food and distinctive drinks.
Le Jardin du Roi is a warm, welcoming neighborhood spot that opens daily at 8 a.m. to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
Wendy’s Granola Recipe
Wendy Egan, Le Jardin du Roi’s restaurant manager for 16 years, shares her tasty homemade granola recipe. It is simple, full of crunch and always available at Le Jardin.
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts or seeds
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (i.e. raisins, cranberries, chopped mission figs, chopped apricots)
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 3 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and arrange a middle rack.
- Place oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and toss to combine.
- Mix honey, oil and vanilla in a bowl and mix, pour over oat mixture and stir until oats are well-coated.
- Spread mixture in a thin even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Take baking sheet out and stir granola. Bake for 5 minutes more or until oats are a light golden brown.
- Cool for about 20 minutes then transfer to bowl. Place in a bowl and add nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut.
- Place in an airtight container or zip lock bags.