The iconic, l’escale restaurant bar, or “port of call” for seasonal Mediterranean cuisine is designed to transport the ambiance of Provence to the Gold Coast of Connecticut. Two-hundred-year-old stone terra cotta tiles from Provence adorn the floors with a wood burning fireplace lending an unmistakable charm and beauty.
Founded by Rick Wahlstedt in 2003, l’escale has reached institution status. Located at Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel, the restaurant’s intimate decor, along with its wrought iron tonelle covered waterfront terrace and exquisitely designed menu by award winning Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer will deliver the Côte d’Azur right to your table.
Growing up in the countryside west of Paris, Frederic Kieffer spent his summers working in local restaurants where he discovered a true passion for cooking. Following his calling, Kieffer enrolled into the well-known L’Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise, Ferrandi in Montparnasse, Paris where he was classically trained in French cuisine.
Upon graduation, a series of apprenticeships led him through the kitchens of such renowned restaurants as Taillevent, Le Chiberta, and the Lutetia Hotel. His career began in the kitchen of Tentation Caterers in New York City, running The Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. In addition, Kieffer was instrumental in the opening of the Los Angeles Music Center in California.
As Chef Kieffer’s culinary reputation grew, he was given the opportunity to re-open Windows of the World, one of the most iconic venues in history, with famed restaurateur Joseph Baum, then owner of the Rainbow Room. Kieffer considers this to be one of the greatest honors of his career and will always have a special place in his heart, especially after 9/11.
After working in New York City’s Water’s Edge and being the Opening Chef of the celebrity owned Man Ray Restaurant, Chef Kieffer opened l’escale at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel. “Through some introductions and living in Westchester, NY, the l’escale opportunity was an exciting project, big enough to rival those in New York City, with an exquisite hotel on the water and it gave me the opportunity to return to my French roots.” Kieffer shares.
The well-established Chef opened Gaia also located in Greenwich, CT. Gaia means Goddess of Mother Earth and that was at the heart of the concept. It was there Kieffer’s dedication to farm-to-table was solidified and became his cooking philosophy. Valuing the source of products and quality before it became trendy has long since become a part of Kieffer’s legacy. Under his guidance both l’escale and Gaia received an “Excellent” rating from the New York Times.
Chef Kieffer has since become Executive Chef and Partner of Artisan Restaurant, Tavern and Garden in 3 locations, the Delamar Southport CT Hotel, Four Columns Inn in Newfane VT, and The Delamar West Hartford CT Hotel.