Andre Surmain, Who Fed the Elite in Luxe Style at Lutèce, Dies at 97


Andre Surmain, who transformed his cooking school’s Manhattan townhouse into Lutèce, an epicurean mecca defined by haute cuisine, even higher prices and a high-and-mighty clientele, died on Wednesday at his home in St. Paul en Foret, in the South of France. He was 97.

His death was confirmed by his nephew Peter Hurwitz.

A month after Lutèce opened in 1961, Craig Claiborne, the restaurant critic for The New York Times, described it as “impressively elegant and conspicuously expensive.” (His dinner for two was $52.30, or about $435 in today’s money.) The food, however, “could not be called great cuisine,” he wrote.

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