Category Archives: French

The Nomad: Daniel Humm’s rich, carefully plated dishes in a gorgeous mahogany library

Photo from NYTimes

Photo from NYTimes

I finally checked The Nomad off my bucket list, thanks to hearing from many people this weekend that it’s their absolute favorite restaurant in New York. After a late night out Saturday the last thing I felt like doing was dressing up for a rich, semi-fancy meal, but I knew it would be a mistake to pass up the 7:30pm reservation I scored last minute.

Long story short is that the place is magical – absolutely stunning with the high ceilings and warm lighting. But I’m guessing the aura of importance this place exudes is what makes the prices are as high as they are, because while the food was definitely impressive in presentation, nothing I ate was as standout as what I had expected for such gorgeous, dramatic surroundings. If I were to return, it would primarily be to re-live the feeling of being in a setting that’s truly unique and regal, but takes care not to be overly stuffy.

Library dining room

Library dining room

The cocktail list is extensive but our sommelier recommended two delicious bottles of wine that paired with the copious amounts of food my friends and I ordered. My favorite part was hands-down the hot chick-pea crusted rosemary focaccia, which they generously give to every table. I would have paid a good $10 for this. I appreciated that they offered two sizes of the crab lemon tagliatelle, but while it was bright and refreshing, the amount of crab was seriously pathetic. Along with the simple lettuce salad (which was pretty boring), the tuna tartare, served skewered on actual tuna bones, was the lightest thing on the menu and a welcome starter for what was to come.

focaccia - this was from last season

focaccia – this was from last season

tagliatelle with crab and meyer lemon

tagliatelle with crab and meyer lemon

frothy poached egg that turned into a soupy mess

frothy poached egg that turned into a soupy mess

The theme of the rest of the meal was heavy, rich, and doused with butter. Eating everything from foie gras to fried sweetbread egg rolls, I felt like I was in Versailles. The egg poached in butter with quinoa actually tasted like a frothy butter soup. Then, because we pretty  much had to, we moved onto their special chicken for 2, which at $79 I expected to blow me away. Theoretically, it should have. The chicken, which is first presented whole and then carved and plated, is massaged with black truffle foie gras stuffing. The dark meat is carved and served in a separate cast iron pot of “jus”, which honestly tasted like rich, meat flavored butter. The stuffing on the breast meat was great, and the entire presentation was creative, but I’ve had better chicken in Korea town. The meat itself lacked flavor and could have really benefitted from some brining. A+ for creativity, but B- for actual taste and flavor.

chicken before carving

chicken before carving

chicken carved

chicken carved (photo from starchefs.com)

chocolate dessert

chocolate dessert

milk and honey

milk and honey

The desserts, as usual on this blog, saved the day – probably because we had little chance to fail since we ordered every item on the menu (and the waiter kindly brought us one on the house). Each was beautifully plated and incorporated lots of variation in texture – the chocolate dessert had little squares of rich fudge bites, crispy chocolate cookies, and malt ice cream. I loved their well known “milk and honey”, three scoops of subtly flavored honey ice cream with crispy shortbread and brittle. Others raved about the poached strawberries with angel food cake and ricotta, but I’m not usually a fan of fruit dessert. If I’m going to eat dessert, I want it to be as far away from healthy food as possible.

I’m very satisfied with my experience at Nomad because 1) I finally got to see what the hype was all about, 2) I proved to myself that the chicken was not worth $79, 3) I got to spend over two hours in one of the most striking, grandiose  real life version of Harry Potter’s library ever, and 4) Most importantly, it will tide me over from expensive, special-occasion meals for the next few months. Was it the best meal of my life? Definitely not. But I would recommend having the experience at least once to everyone.

Grade: B
Location: 1170 Broadway @ 28th
Website 

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Filed under Business Meal, Flatiron, French, Fun Group Dinner, Gramercy, Romantic Date, Sex & The City Swank

Lafayette: neck and neck with Balthazar as my favorite brasserie

dj-laf-blog480

Balthazar is one of the few restaurants that has remained one of my favorites since since moving to New York 5 years ago (I still can’t get over how long it’s been). I love it for the atmosphere – the hastiness of the waitstaff zooming by, the energy of the people in the room, the wide brasserie style seating, and I go back each time of course for the food and drink – the amazing bread and butter, the simple salads, the hot fudge covered profiteroles, and the shockingly strong French 75’s get me every time. Everything about this place screams New York brasserie, which Keith McNally seems to do so well.

Never did I ever imagine that a newcomer could one up such a longstanding New York staple, but after my epic experience at beautiful Lafayette last Tuesday, I think Balthazar may need to up its game to remain the king of the brasserie crop. Lafayette, which took over the massive Chinatown Brasserie space, is a beautifully spacious, well-lit and enchanting French brasserie that transports you from New York city to a fantasy land (think Great Gatsby) where there’s not a care in the world. I walked in and gasped – a delectable boulangerie with mounds of pastries welcomes you at the entrance, and with staircases and side-by-side booths to optimize the space, there really doesn’t seem to be a bad table in the house. And just like Balthazar, there’s this inescapable and addictive vibrancy – everyone is more alive than ever: happy, hungry and actively people watching.

lafayette bakery

grandiose bakery upfront

Service was humble and spot on. After a few slices of the rustic sourdough bread with salted butter and a delicious glass of champagne (cremant de Bourgogne), we were served Eggs Lafayette, essentially two stuffed hard boiled eggs with sable fish and trout caviar. Absolutely heaven on earth, and pretty much the best, most unique rendition of deviled eggs I’ve ever had. Next was the Pate Maison, which came with brown ceramic jars of unlimited cornichons (great touch) and brown mustard and grilled rustic bread. This paired well with the massive, lightly dressed butter lettuce salad with roquefort and country ham. RARELY am I impressed by a salad, but this was so fresh, light and stunning with the creamy blue cheese. I was dying for a pasta, but in an effort to eat lightly I went for the steamed trout, served with an utterly flavorful bean and tomato “mush” that I couldn’t get enough of.

Dessert was insane too. Hot fried beignets with chocolate mousse fulfilled my craving for something classic, and the Sweet Cheese Cremant with blueberry sorbet proved that there’s more than just traditional dishes at this place. By the end of the meal, I was reluctant to leave our cozy booth for two, but I have every intention of coming back next week for a bowl of the gorgeous black fettuccine that was served to my neighbor.

pate maison (photo from seriouseats)

pate maison (photo from SeriousEats)

blueberry cremant (photo from SeriousEats)

blueberry cremant (photo from SeriousEats)

Compared to Balthazar, I think the standout difference of Lafayette is its slightly more elegant setting and menu (and a few more pastas) – Balthazar is just a touch more core to its rustic French brasserie roots. Either way, it’s going to be a real toss up the next time I’m in the mood for French food.

Grade: A+
Location: 380 Lafayette Street at the corner of Great Jones and Lafayette
Website:

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Filed under Brunch, Business Meal, Erin's Favorites, French, Fun Group Dinner, New American, Noho

Prune: simple, stand-out French fare in quaint quarters

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Prune is another one of those special places, like Buvette, who’s got their brand essence down to a T; the feeling of elegant comfort is oozing throughout every minor detail of the restaurant. The bright pink awning, the matching pink menus and pink-uniformed wait staff, the tiny wooden tables, the adorable open kitchen exposing big copper pots, the white bowls of citrus, the hand-written menus, and the rustic wainscoting create the perfect aura of an adorable French cafe. No trendy stilettos and 3 hour wait lists here – Prune draws a neighborhood crowd looking for comfort in a sea of Lower East Side Manhattan scenesters. The setting, in addition to the delicious food, is why I entered and left the place smiling.

Prune is a legend. I’ve been reading about it since I moved to New York 4+ years ago, but it takes a lot to get me to venture to the Lower East Side. Fortunately, I was out of work early so I couldn’t pass up the invitation to have dinner there with my boyfriend, a long time fan of the place. I started my meal off with an italian greyhound- my ideal cocktail of vodka, fresh squeezed grapefruit, campari and rosemary served over massive ice cubes in a dainty glass tumbler and the perfect side-kick to the tin of seriously addictive chick-pea flatbread. I arrived pretty hungry, so that in addition to the fairly meat-heavy menu led me to order more heartily than usual. We started with the parmesan omelette and a side of swiss chard with olives, both light and beautifully simple. The omelette, slightly browned, was a savory combo of just a few ingredients: eggs, generous shavings of parmesan and beautiful flakes of salt. With the lightly sautéed greens, it would have been a beautiful meal on its own, but I couldn’t resist trying the filet mignon and homemade pork sausage that the couple was devouring next to us.

pretty in pink

pretty in pink

sidecar + flatbread

sidecar + roti

omelette = perfection

omelette, lightly browned but moist and soft

swiss chard

swiss chard

pork sausage

pork sausage

steak

steak

I’m not a huge pork fan, but this sausage was awesome, not only because it’s seared to a crisp, but because it wasn’t bursting with oily moisture like some sausages I’ve tried. The flavor is deep and earthy, perfect with the bed of lettuce served beneath it. The compact filet of steak, surrounded by a beautiful fried fan of potatoes, was simple and delicious as well.

Nothing on the dessert menu stuck out to me, but the meal ended with complimentary chunks of dark chocolate (70% as we confirmed) served with the bill. See! Every little detail is well thought out. This is the type of place I want to be and if I were to ever become a restaurateur, would want to open one day. It’s not cheap for the portion sizes, but I’ll definitely be back.

Grade: A
Location: 54 East 1st Street btwn 1st and 2nd Ave
Website

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Filed under East Village, Erin's Favorites, French, Fun Group Dinner, Lower East Side

Buvette: tiny plates in a tiny space; grand experience

buvette

It make sense that the website URL of this French “gastrotheque” is “ilovebuvette.com,” because I’ve probably said that aloud a dozen times since it opened. In the last week, I was lucky to have two engagements that required no more than small plates and delicious wine, and I was reminded why Buvette is always the perfect place for this type of occasion. It’s not that the food is life-changing – there are definitely stand-outs, like the hot cast iron pot of Coq au Vin, or the thick country bread covered in heaps of stracchino cheese and plump sun-dried tomatoes – but its attentive, unparalleled design is all-consuming. Every detail works together to create a world of rustic French elegance, like the mini card-stock menus engraved like gorgeous wedding invitations, the limited cocktail list, the miniature forks, the delicate round water glasses, the silver trays adorning the ceiling, the wooden bar stools, the tin cans of oil, the tart tatin covered with aggressive scoops of whipped cream sliding down the side and the French servers bustling behind the bar. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, except I’ve been teleported to Paris in another era.

buvette

buvette

photo from ilovebuvette.com

photo from ilovebuvette.com

cassoulet

coq au vin

Things get hectic here,  but it’s worth the experience and the servers have their routine down. If you can manage tight quarters and miniaturized utensils (in other words, you’re not claustrophobic or particularly big and tall), then I highly recommend you visit Buvette for your next “sit-at-the-bar” meal.

Grade: A-
Location: 42 Grove Street btwn Bleecker and Bedford 
Website

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Flex Mussels

Flex pre light-dimming

Last night, I had every expectation to have a mediocre meal at Flex Mussels. I’ve never heard anything negative about it, but having had it in my neighborhood for the last four years and never recalling any overtly positive reviews made me skeptical. As a restaurant, you’re either a momentous hot spot that eventually becomes accessible to the main stream diner (Centro Vinoteca), an unremarkable place with high aspirations that unfortunately never gets buzz and eventually shuts down (Scuderia), or a solid staple that continues to keep its neighbors happy and develops a following of repeat customers (Piccolo Angolo). Flex Mussels definitely falls into the latter category, and after my incredible meal there last night I can totally see why.

After perusing the Bentley Meeker light show at the Whitney with my good family friend Susan Holland of Susan Holland Events, we headed a few blocks north and east to the Flex uptown. For the upper east side, this place has a surprisingly cozy, sophisticated downtown feel – similar to Luke’s Lobster in Soho. The aesthetic is Nantucket meets romantic, with a candle-lit bar across a long table for side-by-side seating leading to two large, dimly lit rooms for table diners in the back.

When we were served a poilane-like sourdough bread and complimentary sparkling water immediately upon seating I instantly perked up. The menu is full of not only mussels, but an array of seafood and one or two options for those opting for meat or chicken. Both committed to tasting a variety, Susan and I started with the fish and chips and the kale salad. The fish and chips, we both agreed, were some of the best we had ever had. Served piping hot, the fish was hearty and encased in a thin, perfectly crisp batter with a delicious mustard-tartar sauce for dipping. The truffle fries with parmesan were ridiculous – it was hard for me to keep my hands off of them. The kale, very thinly shredded with pine nuts and feta, balanced this decadent English dish perfectly.

Susan with fish and chips

We then graduated to the two specials – a pot of thai mussels and the ahi carpaccio. The ahi, prepared with greens and oil, had a hard time winning my attention next to the immensely flavorful thai mussels marinated with coconut milk, lime, lemongrass, thai basil, tomatoes, garlic and onion. I was tempted to pick up the pot and eat the broth like soup; it was so rich, creamy and deeply complex. Perfect for the more civil act of bread and french fry dipping.

pot of mussels

After we thought we could eat no more, the dessert menu arrived. I had remembered my friend Princess raving about the doughnuts here, and with 15 fillings to choose from, we really had no choice but to order them. We selected a variety of four – peanut butter and jelly, chocolate, cinnamon and sugar, and salted caramel, all served with a vanilla bean dipping sauce.

fluffy, doughy, crispy doughnuts

I demolished these. This is after claiming that I actually don’t like doughnuts, I’m really just that dainty. Well, these were the best doughnuts I’ve ever had – they reminded me of the doughy pockets called malasadas that I grew up eating in Hawaii, but they were served hot and with a subtly sweet inside. The salted caramel was just a touch too salty, but the chocolate was divine. Doesn’t get much better than all of this dipped in vanilla sauce.

I’ll 100% be back to Flex Mussels, most likely the West Village location. A great price for homey, filling, quality food with flavor and craft, and a perfect spot for any occasion.

Grade: A-
Location: 174 East 82nd between 3rd and Lex Ave; also a location on West 13th
Website: http://www.flexmusselsny.com/82nd

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Filed under Affordable Date, American, Erin's Favorites, French, Upper East Side, West Village

Bistro De La Gare

On a street full of bustling restaurants like Piccolo Angelo, Mole, Corsino, and Fatty Crab, Bistro De La Gare hardly looks inviting. I’ve never passed the brightly lit restaurant without noticing the lack of patrons, and I’ve never come across a review of the place, good or bad. But places like these serve a very good purpose in New York, especially in the West Village: the “grandma’s-in-town” restaurant pick. Sometimes, you just need a place that’s low key, readily available, bright, and calm. How many places in the village really have all those qualities at all hours in the night? Maybe two (the other one I’m thinking of is Bakehouse, which I love).

But the atmosphere is awkward at Bistro De La Gare, and the food is just a few steps behind Great. After being seated by our overzealous waiter, I couldn’t block out the smooth jazz elevator music that made the whole place, which otherwise is very clean and polished, seem unrefined and tacky. The bright lighting was hard to ignore as well, though I think this is a draw for the older crowd that frequents this place.

focaccia

I was pleasantly surprised with the soft focaccia bread, but soon after disappointed when my grandma, sister, and I waited 15 minutes too long for our simple appetizers. I had the roasted vegetable salad, but between that and my sister’s cold mushroom crostini and my grandmother’s odd-tasting prosciutto wrapped pear and goat cheese,  I was finding trouble being impressed. The roasted vegetable salad looked dull and off-color and tasted bland, and the grayish puree of mushroom on the crostini was unsightly. Still, we managed to eat it all as a result of our hunger.

mushroom crostini

goat cheese and pear with prosciutto

My seared salmon , served hot and perfectly medium-rare, was a step above the appetizers, but I was turned off by the thick layer of creme fraiche dripping down its sides. My grandmother’s chicken liver pappardelle, of all things, was actually delicious, hot, and earthy, and she happened to love it. So, I think we’ve found the true value behind Bistro De La Gare – it’s a simple spot with a robust French-American menu, low volumen levels, and bright lighting – the perfect place for bringing the ones you love over the age of 60 when conversation and connecting, not food, is the primary interest (blasphemy!).

Grade: B-
Location: 626 Hudson St., nr. Jane St
Website: www.bistrodelagarenyc.com

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Le Pain Quotidien

Some people may curse me for blogging about a chain that is almost as prolific as Starbucks in New York, but I really can’t get enough of it. To give this bakery some props, it was first opened in Brussels by a man who was fed up with the quality of bread in Belgium, and it has since become one of my go-to spots for not only homemade organic bread, but also for a filling, healthy lunch. I had my first Pain Quotidien experience in Paris, where I instantly fell in love with the cafe’s wooden communal tables and jars of creamy hazelnut spread shared among the customers for bread dipping. But sugar aside, the real value behind Le Pain Quotidien’s menu is bright, beautifully crafted, quality health food. Their main show-stopper is their creative tartine variations, open-faced sandwiches on brown sourdough bread, but their fresh salads, soups, bakery items, and bowls of hot cappuccinos are equally notable. When I’m in the mood for something light, refreshing, and culinarily satisfying, I head straight to the Pain Quotidien down the street and feel thankful that such an affordable, delicious, and pleasant place is situated just steps from my apartment.

quinoa salad

special lentil salad

buckwheat quiche

I have visited Le Pain Quotidien countless times, but some of my favorite dishes lately are the gluten-free vegetarian quiche (pictured above) and the lentil and quinoa salads, which come with avocado, lettuce, and fresh vegetables. Avocado, which I love, is thankfully found on a lot of their salads. And though these items are all vegetarian friendly, the menu is filled with lunch items that have prosciutto, chicken, or tuna. In fact, my sister’s favorite is their version of a turkey club – an open faced turkey sandwich with avocado and whole grain mustard.

There’s always something new and exciting to try on their menu – my next item is the ricotta and fig tartine. While I wouldn’t suggest it for dinner, when you’re in a part of New York city filled with Au Bon Pains or other processed-food chains, Le Pain Quotidien will be your saving grace.

Grade: A

Location: Multiple

Website: http://www.lepainquotidien.com

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Filed under Affordable Date, Brunch, Cheap Eat, Erin's Favorites, French

Brasserie Les Halles

Funnily enough, the week after Anthony Bourdain made an appearance at Google with his No Reservations’ production crew, my aunt booked us a table at his longstanding Manhattan French bistro, Brasserie Les Halles. For all of the tongue and animal guts he enjoys on his well-known travel series, I was totally surprised by the simple French offerings at his “home base” (as the website states). Considering the restaurant is described as an extension of the bustling Les Halles district in Paris, though, the menu is typically simple and Parisian, just as it should be.

Inside

The restaurant is large, with dark oak detail and wooden chairs and tables. There’s nothing modern or fancy about the vibe, so it’s a perfect spot for a good meal without pretention. I was impressed immediately when a basket of both french and multigrain bread was served upon being seated. Not only did it arrive quickly, but it came alongside a thick circular pat of ice cold, creamy french butter. I could have made a meal out of this simple pairing, and we consumed two servings before our meals even arrived.

simple yet addicting

Service was definitely on the slower side, but by the time we placed our order we didn’t wait too long before our entrees arrived. Deciding what to eat was difficult, but I went with the simple grilled tuna and vegetables. The tuna was served as one large oddly shaped hunk of seared fish that was awkward to maneuver with a fork and knife. The huge pile of crispy shoe string fries, however, paired perfectly with the soft fish and vegetables. The overall flavors were there, and it was cooked just as I had requested.

Pavé de Thon Grillé

The chocolate fondant cake was the standout, as it usually is for me at French restaurants, but the serving of ice cream was a joke. Note to self: order two next time around.

tiny ice cream but mighty cake

Based off of my sister’s delicious crab cake and my aunt’s good looking cauliflower soup and mushroom ravioli, I left this restaurant pleasantly satisfied with the well rounded, simple French meal, incredibly delicious free bread, and the luscious chocolate dessert. I’ll definitely return if I’m in need of an adult-friendly place close to the 6 train, but probably won’t go out of my way for it.

Grade: A-

Location: 411 Park Avenue South (at 29th Street)

Website: http://www.leshalles.net

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Filed under French, Gramercy, Midtown East, Parents in Town

Amy’s Bread: Ham and Butter Sandwich

pure buttery goodness

I rarely eat pork, but every other month a sporadic hankering for the elegant simplicity of a ham, butter, and cornichon baguette consumes me and all bets are off. Nothing close to this sandwich – ham and mayo, turkey and butter, or ham and cheese – can quell the hunger. If the craving arises, I rush to the nearest French cafe with the unadulterated classic, which is often hard to find. I was fortunate enough that the sandwich hunger hit me today just as I was passing Amy’s Bread, my favorite bakery in the city. Amy’s offers a wide selection of gorgeous pre-made sandwiches, but nothing could stop me from zooming in on the very last ham and butter and claiming it as my own (after purchasing of course).

isn't she a beaut?

This straight forward French classic consists of just four ingredients, but horrible renditions are made more often than not. A fresh, crusty French baguette is key, and of course best from the native country, but possible to find at select bakeries in NY (Amy’s, Bouchon, sometimes Whole Foods). The next piece is the butter – no half ass table butter. You need the straight-from-the-cow, room temperature, creamy, saltless butter. The ham of course must be fresh and slightly thicker than the average deli slice, and the cornichons about double the thickness of the meat.

classic ham sandwich display

Had I eaten the Amy’s Bread sandwich a few hours earlier, I would have given it a perfect score. But after a few hours of sitting out the bread need a little grill warmth to get it back to form. Regardless, it still did quite the job of satisfying my twice a year craving that never fails to come out of no where. It may have even been good enough to ignite the craving more often.

Grade: A-

Location: Chelsea Market on 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Street

Website: http://www.amysbread.com

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Buvette

I get giddy when I fall in love with a new place. It’s almost like the feeling of having butterflies in your stomach after a first date in high school. A true match was made tonight when I finally visited Buvette, a new wine bar in the West Village that I’ve had my eye on since its quaint storefront caught my eye last week. As part of a work scavenger hunt this afternoon, my colleagues and I were tasked with taking a team photo at a wine bar. Though we were across town on the upper east side, I of course considered this an opportunity to visit what I had envisioned to become my new, habitual, neighborhood wine joint.

bright windowed storefront

back room past bar

It was love at first sight. I opened the frail front door, and instantly my heart sank as I took the whole space in. My eyes directed straight back to the french country style semi-private area, with an incredibly eclectic chandelier dramatizing the light hearted, summery and very homey dining room. In the front, wooden benches, mismatched stools, a long marble bar, and a silver tin roof created a spring day vibe, as opposed to the intense, romantic feeling some consider a requirement for wine bars. My two friends from work and I took a seat at the bar, in direct view of the attractive french bartender (in addition to the 10 other staff members working by and around the counter). As the only customers in the restaurant at 4:30pm on a Tuesday, we had the privilege to slowly and calmly breathe in every inch of the impeccably charming ambience.

fresh walnuts with miniature menu

Buvette’s menu is full of delicious cheeses, meats, and tartines, and a small chalk board behind the bar lists a limited variety of small plate specials. Along with our Pouilly Fume wine, we ordered the Kunik cheese, a goat’s milk cheese with a touch of jersey cow cream, which the waiter highly recommended. We also went for the fresh cheese and cherry tomato tartine, which was gorgeously creamy, drizzled with pungent olive oil, capers, and slightly pickled cherry tomatoes. The combination was divine, and along with charred, freshly oiled crostini, the kunik cheese was outstanding. Served with subtly flavored stewed cherries, these pure and simply sweet and salty ingredients joined to form an indescribably complex yet well rounded pair.

kunik cheese with cherries

crusty bread with fresh oil

tartine

I had no intention of eating a heavy load at Buvette, but after finishing off the cheese in sheer happiness, I couldn’t resist a slice of the tarte tatin that rested gracefully on a cake platter and tantalized me throughout my meal. It arrived with a rustic scoop of creme fraiche, and when I placed a large hunk of crust, apple, and cream in my mouth, the nerve wracking Inglorious Bastards’ restaurant scene with Christopher Waltz and Melanie Laurent instantly popped in my head. I remember when watching that moment intently, I became distracted by (of course) nothing else but the generous dollap of gorgeous cream resting on her tart. Finally, I was able to put taste to that image with every bite of this gorgeous sweet. It was so decadent that I didn’t even regret breaking my no-dessert lent to indulge!

rustic chunky flakey creamy goodness

I soon discovered that the woman in apron seated to my left was the former chef of Morandi, and the owner of Buvette. Though she indulged me in my lust over the place by answering my questions, she was far from warm and friendly, which I guess fit quite well with every other French detail. The waiters also seemed less than thrilled that despite our positive feedback, we had interrupted their calm before the swarm of West Village winos. Cute and fuzzy service aside, the food, wine, and setting alone is enough to make me proclaim Buvette as my absolute favorite new wine bar in the city. I already have plans to return tomorrow.

Grade: A

Location: 42 Grove St btwn Bedford and Bleecker

Website: http://www.ilovebuvette.com

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Filed under Affordable Date, Cheap Eat, Erin's Favorites, French, Romantic Date, West Village