So a new French bistro opened in the neighborhood. This wouldn’t be so remarkable if it weren’t for the closing of so many bistros in Greenwich Village and the East Village over the last decade – often to become a TD Bank – but Claudette, started by the guys who brought you perennially popular Rosemary’s, was big news from the start. “It’s right around the corner from your apartment,” my mom said when we dined here on a random Monday night, months after it opened. “You should make it your neighborhood place.”
“We haven’t been able to get in until now!” This was sadly true. (more…)
The opening of a new Daniel Boulud restaurant is reason enough for a downtowner to head uptown, but there are two things about his new Boulud Sud that make it particularly exciting. When most American restaurants take on the genre of Mediterranean food, they stick to the usual suspects: Italy, Spain, France and Greece. But one of the first words on Boulud Sud’s menu is “harissa,” and the African and Middle Eastern influences take off from there.
This is a welcome change, because our American idea of what constitutes Mediterranean fare is behind the times. Despite New York chefs’ emphasis on food like one’s nonna would have made it, many restaurants in France and Italy have changed radically since the ’50s, with many more African and Middle Eastern techniques and ingredients making their way onto menus. (more…)