by Simone Shubuck
Just like our food, we at Babbo, take our dining room style pretty seriously. It’s no surprise then, that our floral arrangement is prominently displayed front and center in the main dining room. These weekly works of our floral art are created by Simone Shubuck – who, when not at Babbo, can be found drawing and painting in her lower east side studio. Her art is exhibited widely here and abroad. She is currently working on a solo show for the Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco this October.
This summer, she’s contributing her expertise to our “staff pics” section. You can learn more about Simone at zachfeuer.com
Most of La Grenouille’s regular’s probably head downtown for dinner as a novel break in their routines.
I do the opposite. While going uptown is kind of novel, (I live , work and usally eat and drink downtown), sipping a glass of champagne at the bar at la Grenouille is as good as an out of body experience. This is because they have the best restaurant flowers anywhere, not just in NY.(and yes Mario,,,I’ve been to the hotel George V, merci)
The family legacy of love that built this mid town manhattan french restaurant into a venerated beacon of elegance has a special relationship with flowers as well as great food, a gorgeous room and overall outstanding hospitality. Check out the quote on homepage of their website that poetically talks about how it all began with a few flowers and the birth of a tradition.
Charles Masson, the charming son of the owners is the man behind the stunning flowers. He works on them 6 days a week as well as being the regularly present face of the restaurant. He credits his father with having formed the NYC flower market by suggesting in the late 60’s that farmers cut flowering branches and things more exotic than what was at the time a very limited selection of flowers.( Charles parents opened the restaurant in 1962) He insists on things like glass vases for large large arrangements, so the stem can show and enhance the lines that much more. This involves daily siphening of the vases to replace the murky water,levels of commitment even most florists can’t even fathom. He has also written a book, fittingly called “The Flowers of La Grenouille” (Clarkson Potter, 1994) which has many tips for care and lovingly tells the story of the family and their restaurant.