Earlier this week I had dinner in the East Village at a tiny French bistro. The place sports a postage stamp sized patio and has live jazz every night. We were seated inside the restaurant looking out at the patio and the street beyond which afforded us one of the better views. I liked the place the minute I walked in. There was a hum of conversation, soft jazz filling the background and incredible smells from the food being cooked and served.
The host also turned out to be our waiter. His thick French accent only served to enhance the mood and he quickly talked us into ordering a bottle of beaujolais (’06 Morgon V.V. Jean Paul Thevenet Gamay – $72). Although the restaurant provides a 3-course prix-fixe menu for $24.95 Monday – Thursday, we opted to order from the main menu. Dinner including 2 starters, 2 main dishes and a shared dessert (no drink or tip included) will cost approximately $75. First plates range from $7-$18 and main courses range from $16-$25.
I started with a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. Along with the french bread at the table this provided an excellent beginning. The tomatoes and basil were extremely fresh and the cheese was as rich and creamy as it should be. Soon after our first plates were cleared, my main plate was brought over to our table. I ordered grilled hangar steak with shallot sauce, mushroom risotto, parmesan and truffle oil. The steak was cooked to perfection (pinkish-red in the middle) and smothered in the rich shallot sauce. The risotto with cheese and truffle oil complemented the steak, and I found myself going back and forth between the meat then the risotto.
The staff was both attentive and helpful without interfering with the dining experience so my friend and I could enjoy ourselves. Pet peeves of mine such as clearing our table before everyone was finished were avoided further impressing me. If asked, I would recommend the restaurant and happily return.