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Le Botaniste, a botanical-based, apothecary-inspired restaurant, opens today in New York City. Created by Le Pain Quotidien’s founder and COO Alain Coumont, Le Botaniste is nestled in one of LPQ’s first locations on Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side. It is the counterpart to the Belgium-based restaurant of the same name and intends to further organic, plant-based eating in New York City.
The restaurant is designed to evoke the feeling of a classic apothecary; details including glass tincture bottles and white lab coats coalesce as a visual representation of the health benefits of mindful eating.
“Like many people today, I am increasingly conscious of how our diets affect our health and environment,” Coumont says. “Le Botaniste grew from this awareness and my desire to offer a health-focused, eco-friendly, organic menu that is above all else delicious.”
The menu is 100 percent organic and entirely botanical, which means there are no animal products used on-site. The seasonally changing menu features chef-designed prescriptions such as the Tibetan Mama—a savory combination of brown rice, peanut curry sauce, steamed greens, and spicy kimchi—and the Dirty Noodle Soup with velvety tofu, steamed leeks, garlic and spicy ginger. Hearty specialty soups and fresh juices rotate daily.
The menu also encourages DIY meal-building, allowing guests to design their own hot or cold entrée from the many bases, spreads and toppings available. Meals are ordered at the front counter, where appetizers and entrees are displayed and assembled. They can be enjoyed in-house in eclectic Japanese bowls or taken to-go in recycled, sustainable packaging. A selection of natural wines is also on offer. Le Botaniste is committed to composting food waste in observance of sustainable practices.
Coumont, who launched Le Pain Quotidien in Belgium 25 years ago, has always been an advocate of organic, nourishing, whole foods. He currently splits his time between the 238 LPQ locations around the world and his home in the south of France, where he invests his time in farming to better understand each step of food production.
“Thanks to the creative direction of Alain Coumont, LPQ has always been at the forefront of culinary culture—adapting to dietary needs, with a mindful consideration of what’s best for the environment,” says Vincent Herbert, LPQ’s Global CEO. “Le Botaniste offers an opportunity to continue with these enduring initiatives, making the daring decisions that have bolstered the success of our brand.”