BANKSVILLE, NY — La Cremaillere, the upscale French restaurant in Westchester County whose former owner-operator cooked the books for years, has reopened.
The iconic restaurant, in a 1750s farmhouse near the Connecticut border, is back in business under Robert Meyzen, whose father had started the restaurant in the 1950s. It has a new website for the debut of La Crem To Go.
The takeout menu includes a potage du jour, an escargot-and-angel-hair pasta, a short rib bourguignon, pommes frites and other mouth-watering dishes. There’s even a kids’ menu, though the fromage grille sounds more than good enough for adults.
Thethat led to the bankruptcy and imprisonment for La Cremaillere’s former owner-operator, Robert Meyzen’s wife Barbara Meyzen, started as an attempt to get a line of credit for the business and ballooned into large-scale theft and lies to the bankruptcy court and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The fraud — all on behalf of the restaurant — grew more and more elaborate. At one point she pretended to be a bank official. At the end she was diverting the restaurant’s credit card revenues to pay bills to food and wine distributors, an employee, a trash service and a tableware and china company, prosecutors said. She charged more than $80,000 in food and restaurant supplies to one of the restaurant’s customers who had left her credit card number on file.
Meyzen Family Realty Associates, LLC, which owned the property from which the restaurant operates, filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains in September 2018. La Cremaillere Restaurant Corp., which operated the restaurant, filed for bankruptcy in April 2019. Barbara Meyzen was a part-owner of both entities and ran the restaurant for the family for 25 years. She has since left the company as a stockholder. She was sentenced in September to two years in prison and will have to serve two years of supervised release and pay forfeiture and restitution each in the amount of $320,289.35.
The property is now owned by Peter Orthwein, who is leasing the restaurant to Robert Meyzen’s reorganized company, La Cremaillere II, The Examiner reported.