A brief and recent history of restaurants: First, there were places of taste and pastimes and chiaroscuro lighting and low piano notes of laughter; places of urbane chat over classic dishes and cocktails and wines and—of course, of course—steaks made the right way. Those were the days. Then people got fancy with their food and tried new things. Good for them. But they always come back. Classic is classic because classic serves, and serves well.

And here we are again, back to the beginnings at Marcel, a first-rate steakhouse and bar by Ford Fry. Named after Marcel Cerdan, the iconic French fighter-romantic who endured ring rumbles, war, marriage, a famous affair with Edith Piaf (and could only be stopped from seeing his love when his plane crashed into a mountain), Marcel is a return to the days when people appreciated every moment, when dull care was forgotten, when love lingered over the best meals—including, pound-for-pound, the best steaks money can buy.

Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. But life is short, so let’s seriously enjoy this excellent cuisine, this cheery company.

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