When owners Mark Di Giulio and Peter Meltzer first began exploring the idea of opening their own restaurant, they were on a mission. Paris was one of their favorite destinations, and the kind of intimate, traditional bistro they loved there was nowhere to be found here – in New York City.
Traditional Parisian bistros offer a “simple kind of cooking,” Peter Meltzer explains. “We like to call it cooking in primary colors.” The seasoning is clear and simple. The carefully researched recipes allow the food to taste like what it is…and what it should be. “That’s classic and that’s what we do at Quatorze bis.”
The original Quatorze opened in 1984 on 14th Street. Some people called it Fourteen. But le Roi-Soleil – the Sun King himself, would have none of it. Louis XIV stepped in and put his royal fork down, that is, at least by way of New Yorker cartoonist, Jack Ziegler.
Mark and Peter had seen Mr. Ziegler’s illustration of Louis Quatorze waiting on the 14th Street subway platform, and they wondered if Louis le Grand would honor them with a visit. Ziegler agreed and Louis ended up staying through dessert and the eventual move to the Upper East Side.
Quatorze bis on East 79th Street opened in 1990. Since then, it has become a central part of the neighborhood. Owner Peter Meltzer notes: “We do as much as possible to make the customer feel at home.”