21 February 2008

Bistro Chat Noir

22 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10021

Having had a less than memorable dinner at Bar Boulud, we thought we would sample a traditional French Bistro right in Daniel Boulud’s neighborhood. Bistro Chat Noir is owner Suzanne Latapie’s homage to all the little bistros we all love in France. And she has done a great job as we love Chat Noir.

The step down restaurant just off Madison Avenue immediately feels like you have been teleported to Paris. The small bar reception area is like hundreds of places we have visited. And with Suzanne holding down the reception desk, you not only have your reservation honored, you become a Guest at her place.

The room is a long alley with two top and four top tables on the sides, and in a clever move a train of two tops are located down the center of the alley, giving dinning couples an unexpected sense of privacy in the middle of a bustling bistro.

The service staff, always being watched over by Suzanne, is professional and as good as at far more pricey places. We were served promptly, accurately and with a wonderful playful French attitude.

The menu is classic interpretations of French Bistro fare, and there must be a French chef in the kitchen. And while not always as authentic as we may have desired, nonetheless a wonderful collection of classics. Our soups, salads, hot and cold appetizers were just that – appetizing. Classic main courses such as moules frites and steak frites, made with Hereford beef were outstanding.

The wine list is relatively short and composed of primarily French wines. We enjoy seeing wines like Chinons that are frequently not included on Manhattan wine lists. The selections were fine, but unfortunately they were out of a few of our choices, which is a major demerit for any place. However, when we chose a Washington State Colombia Valley merlot, it was surprising good after it had a chance to breath.

As usual we skipped dessert, so we have no notes.

Bistro Chat Noir - Highly Recommended

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Martin,
Thank you for your very gracious mention about Bistro Chat Noir!! It is so important to us small restaurant owners that we may get a little public mention from time to time. It is hard to live in a world where the big boys continue get much of the attention. I promise that we will continue to improve and rise to your expectations.
Sincerely Yours,
Suzanne Latapie