Bistro de la Gare: Take a Ride to this Bistro
Bistro de la Gare holds an unassuming spot on Hudson St at the corner of Jane, tucked next to another new restaurant, Mole. The space is clean and almost plain with few adornments, white table-clothed tables, a slow circulating ceiling fan, bright red banquettes, bright lighting, and a small espresso bar to be turned real bar once the liquor license comes through. No muss, no fuss, Bistro de la Gare is downright easy-going.
The real attraction in this otherwise simple restaurant is the tantalizing and carefully constructed Mediterranean menu. Chefs (and friends) Maryann Terillo and Elisa Sarno pull from traditional French and Italian recipes (think: lasagna, cassoulet, and chicken cacciatore) to create their inspired and locally-sourced comfort food. Simple yet elegant presentations and plenty of seasonings dominate menu highlights such as crispy rabbit cooked in buttermilk-sage and grilled baby octopus with cannellini beans and a potato cake (my two personal favorite dishes of the evening). Well-portioned side dishes like roasted Yukon potatoes with caramelized onions and broccoli rabe add an extra tasty kick to the otherwise beautifully-balanced dishes.
The dessert menu is worth a gander, jam-packed with fresh and indulgent options. Classics like affogato with vanilla gelato and a chocolate budino with rosemary-goat cheese gelato evoke the perfect Italian nightcap, while more contemporary options like the olive oil cake with winter fruits and roasted pears with red wine glaze peaked my curiosity. With little room to sample all the choices, I’ll have to return for each and every tempting sweet treat.
Bistro de la Gare brings top-notch home cookin’ to an already saturated West Village dining market. Recette opened a mere 3 blocks away; Cafe Cluny and Tartine, both neighborhood favorites, are both just around the corner; hot hipster hubs such as the New French, the little owl, and Joseph Leonard draw crowds in the ‘hood, and Italian institutions old and new dell’anima, corsino, Sant Ambroeus, and L’Artusi linger nearby. Without expounding too far, the competition facing Bistro de la Gare is clear (and fierce).
However, I can say with confidence that this lovely new spot is sure to become a local favorite. The service is friendly and congenial, with the chef often coming out to help out and to greet guests. The food marries elegant and sophisticated cooking with simple homey savory flavors. Seasonings are used abundantly and the heavy European bistro fare takes it all immensely well – bring on that salt! Perfect for dinner with family, a long languid wine-infused meal with friends, or a cozy date with a loved one, Bistro de la Gare makes all feel at home.
NOTE: a BYOB until a liquor license is obtained, be sure to bring your own bottle of wine or to pick one up around the corner at my favorite wine stop Manley’s!
SIDENOTE: The new owners have brilliantly set-up a blog outlining the construction of the restaurant, their experiences running a restaurant, and changes to the menu! Follow it here: http://www.bistrodelagarenyc.com/blog/