Haiti Joins 10th Avenue
After 40 Tough Years Of Doing Business On Tenth Avenue In Midtown Manhattan, “Le Soleil Haitian Restaurant” Closed Its’ Door In October 2011__On Tuesday, March 26th 2013 Owner, Rolande Keeps Her Promise And Re-opens Le Soleil, Back On Tenth Avenue Between 57-56 Streets…
Le Soleil, the only Haitian-American restaurant in mid-town Manhattan re-opened on Tuesday, March 26th 2013, 18 months after being forced to close in 2011. For almost 40 years, owner, Rolande Bisserth ran her small kitchen-like restaurant on 10th Avenue between 57 – 58th Streets, right near John Jay College and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Hospital with Haiti in her heart. Le Soleil was a local favorite for passersby, taxi cab and limousine drivers, tourists and loyal westside neighbors. Everyone enjoyed Rolande's delicious, authentic Haitian cuisine, and she allowed no short-cuts in her kitchen. Tassot: Cabrit, Griot and Dinde, Poisson Rose, Poulet, Legumes, Acra, and rice with red beans seasoned just right, took you straight to Port-Au-Prince daily. Even better, the meals were priced right! As rental prices soared and the recession kept people from eating out as often, Le Soleil Restaurant was forced to close. The rent was just too high!
When Le Soleil closed, everyone was stunned because sweet, gutsy Rolande had come to NYC from Haiti in 1973 with nothing much but sheer determination and her great family recipes. For decades, Le Soleil had always managed to survive the blight of midtown’s Westside, other recessionary times, and the ever increasing rent prices. But as luck would have it, the landlord who had watched her grow her business over the years retired. The new rental agreement was one that she simply could not afford having completed renovations to attract more customers. She was forced to close. On the rainy and stormy night that Le Soleil closed, Rolande vowed : I will be back. When asked: Where? She replied: Right here, in my same neighborhood. Everyone will be looking for me…And now she is keeping her word!
Her kitchen is now open for business on Tenth Avenue between 57-56th Streets. Customers can eat-in, take-out and have special events catered. BYOBB is welcomed as well. Since re-opening Le Soleil, old customers have been knocking on her door asking: Where have you been? Are you open now? Whenever possible, with her melodious Kreyol accent, Rolande says: You know, everything happens for a reason. I believe that. New York has been so good to me. I could not stop because I do not quit…never! And with that, Le Soleil opened almost one month after Rolande’s 72nd birthday, truly a birthday present to herself and to all NYC food lovers!