La Petite Abeille – Buzzing in Tribeca
My visit to La Petite Abeille was a lucky mistake last night. A mistake in that every other restaurant between the West Village and Tribeca was swamped by the crowds looking to revel in the warm weather but lucky in that it was a true find. After striking out at Bar Pitti, Oscar’s and a variety of other establishments, my friend Alex suggested we try La Petite Abeille, a small French bistro on the South end of Tribeca that she had been to before.
Located on a quiet stretch of West Broadway, near Duane Street, La Petite Abeille is the definition of charming. Quaint with blue-and-white checkered table clothes, vintage French posters, a chalkboard, and a bar that looks like it was taken out of a 1950s railcar diner, La Petite Abeille mimics perfectly a homey French bistro in a romantic comedy where two new acquaintences meet for a first date and realize they’re meant for each other.
I happened to stumble in on lobster night, meaning for $22.95, you get a whole 1 1/4lbs lobster with a bowl of fries and salad. There are three different types of lobster that vary, I chose the classic whole lobster with melted butter dipping sauce. Being a Bostonian, I have unreasonably high expectations for lobster (a hazard of growing up near Cape Cod.) Thus, I won’t say that La Petite Abeille was the best lobster I’ve ever had, but it was certainly very tasty. Simple and fresh, cooked well, still in the shell with perfectly seasoned fries on the side. WITH MELTED BUTTER SAUCE. That there is the key. Too many restaurants try to make lobster complicated when really the taste shines through in its most simple cooked form. The rest of the menu is classic French, showcasing mussels, steak frites, endive salad, roasted chicken, and plenty of seafood. While this might not be the healthiest joint around (expect lots of food cooked in fat), the food is delicious.
If you’re looking to catch up with friends in a laid-back environ, La Petite Abeille offers the perfect venue to sit back comfortable, pop open a bottle of French wine, and languish the evening away with good food and friendly service. Parfait!