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

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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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