The New French: Bring on the Butter
There is only one thing The New French is looking to do, and it is clearly to butter you up. The only obviously French technique employed by the quirky bistro on Hudson St in the West Village is to use butter, liberally. Other than that though, The New French is hardly what you would expect – it is very much not a French restaurant.
Dark smoky walls, small antique chandeliers, and pen etchings on parchment yellow walls set a distinctly funky vintage vibe. The room is small and crowded, stuffed to the gills with well-dressed Village hipster types chatting over fashion magazines and the New Yorker. The nonchalant hostess saunters smoothly around the clustered tables – not particularly welcoming but not unfriendly and incompetent either. Perhaps she is, in fact, the most bizarrely French aspect of this plain and quirky little spot.
The homey simple open kitchen pumps out very adventurous cuisine. The New French is really a funky American bistro -and American in its embrace of innovative melting pot cuisine. The brunch menu features everything from Vietnamese pho soup to pulled pork sandwiches to a hearty steak & eggs. The extra-savory sandwiches, including a remarkably tender grilled chicken option, come with addictive shoestring fries that are absolutely impossible to just leave on the plate (trust me, I unfortunately know…). The dinner menu is similarly diverse, ranging from Vegetable Curry to succulent burgers to Roasted Halibut and Brisket on Ciabatta. The food is universally well-executed, doused in buttery goodness, and the mark of an excellent chef.
The New French embodies that New York je-ne-sais-quoi. It is absolutely quirky, dark, charming, and unlike anything you’d find in any other major American dining destination. The rocker waitstaff are probably struggling artists, but it doesn’t matter because they’re both friendly and efficient. The New French is almost irritatingly made for the hipster crowd, offering a home base for skinny boys in ratty sweaters and unpressed plaid and for dolled up chicks with expensive bedhead and in distressed dark denim. Yet, I’ll let the yummy satisfying cuisine speak for itself, in the universal language of delicious food, and give The New French a golden ticket to West Village brunch stardom.