As Promised, Boulangerie Cognac Opens, Offers Takeout Rotisserie Chicken

The “Boulangerie” attached to Brasserie Cognac, a 3 week old, mid-scale French restaurant from the owners of Serafina, is now open- and as promised, they are selling rotisserie chicken to go, at lunchtime. *Sigh* rotisserie chicken. Is there anything you can’t do? I am no history-ologist, but this is how I imagine rotisserie chicken was invented. A really really really long time ago, somebody took a chicken, and held it over a fire for awhile. And it was good. And all was right with the world.

Then, for some reason, and who knows how or why (but thankfully it happened), another guy said, “What it we take that same chicken, cover it in egg and flour, and drop it into this incredibly hot oil.” And he did. And what came out, was pure magic. Nobody had any reason to eat that other kind of chicken anymore. Why bother? (Nobody cared about being healthy when all this was going on.) This newfangled “fried chicken” was the greatest invention in the history of man. (Yes- better than even the wheel, whose sole purpose, as far as I can tell, is to get us from our homes, to somewhere where we can buy fried chicken.)

So then, the original guy, who put the chicken over the fire (I’m sure he was still alive, or maybe it was one of his great grand-kids), was like “Nobody is eating my chicken anymore! I’ve got to come up with something better! What if I stacked all the chickens on top of each other, and then, as they cooked over the fire, all the chicken fat from the top chickens will drip down onto the ones below. Then, we’ll turn this whole contraption (with that wheel thing mentioned before), so the grease, and fat will just keep moving from chicken to chicken.” And that is why fried chicken isn’t the only chicken we eat today.  Oh to be alive when these magical things happened in our worlds history!

And now, you can get a slightly overpriced, Midtown version, on Broadway btw. 55+56th. 

The boulangerie doesn’t really have much in the way of other lunch items. There are breads and pastries, plus a couple of sandwiches and salads (all for take out only), but none of it looked that special. The chicken is what you came for, and the chicken is what you’ll want. Stuffed with lemon and rosemary (and basted in it’s own fat) the flavor is outstanding, and the half I got, was perfectly cooked on the inside (that is to say, not too dry). I would have liked the skin to be crispier, but they’ve only been open a week, so maybe it’s something they’ll end up fixing (it also doesn’t help that you take the whole thing to go in a bag.)

$7.95 gets you half a chicken, $13.95 for the whole, and there are no sides, so it’s a little pricey depending on how much chicken you can eat. For example, if you are say… like me- half a chicken is no problem, meaning my lunch is already $8 and I don’t even get rice or beans or nothing else with it. If you are a quarter chicken kind of lunch’er, you can find a friend and it’s only $4 apiece, leaving you plenty of room under the $10 cap to round out your meal.

The best deal is probably to gather up 3-4 friends, and get the whole chicken, maybe one of the salads, and a baguette. Altogether it will end up being only about $25 or $6-8 depending on how many people you end up sharing with. Not bad at all.  Yet, for all the refinement of this place (the price, the fancy restaurant it’s connected to, the fancy desserts), all that goes away when you try to eat takeout rotisserie chicken.  It is a mess.  Just getting it out of the bag, should probably be followed with a shower, if you plan on going back to work afterwards. Asking them to cut it up into normal serving sizes will definitely help, even if you are planning on eating the half chicken yourself (I’m sure they’d be willing to do it).

I don’t know if I’d choose it over Tio Pio West on 36th btw. 5+6th (even though their chicken is drier, I love me my side dishes), but if you work in Midtown North, that place is far, and Boulangerie Cognac is plenty good enough. Just ask for extra napkins.


  • Quality rotisserie chicken in Midtown North
  • If you are looking to share a “picnic” lunch with some co-workers, this would be a fun stop.
  • The chickens are stuffed with lemon and rosemary, so the flavor is delicious


  • It’s a little expensive for what it is
  • There are no side dishes!
  • There are better, cheaper places to get baked chicken, plus side dishes, in Midtown
  • It is ridiculously messy, and with no plates, or a place to sit, you must come prepared. Ask them to cut it up into individual serving sizes, and be sure to ask for extra napkins.

Brasserie Cognac: Boulangerie, 1740 Broadway (btw. 55+56th), 212-757-3600


  • We got there at 12:40 today and were told that the chicken was still cooking and needed another 20 minutes. Also, they told us that the chicken is primarily for the restaurant which is why they didn’t have any for us. We ended up getting the chicken salad which left me hungry and unsatisfied. I will not be back soon. Who doesn’t have lunch ready at noon, much less 12:30?

  • I got lunch there Tuesday. Chicken that day was only for sit-down restaurant customers, so I got the salad nicoise. Looked beautiful and the dressing was terrific. The tuna, beans, olives, eggs were great too. BUT, the lettuce, while beautifully arranged in the take out bowl was COMPLETELY unwashed – we’re talking major dirt and sand on every piece. Thus the salad was largely inedible. In addition, once they figure out how to use a salad spinner, they could possibly add a few more pieces of lettuce. For an $8 salad it would cost them pennies to double the lettuce and make it a normal lunch size salad – and have happy, returning customers…

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    I wouldn’t call Cognac a hot lunch spot per se, but like I said before the happy hour is pretty great. I like to just order appetizers because they are so good. Try the cheese puff things.

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