Mon-Thu, 5pm-11pm; Fri, 5pm-11:30pm; Sat, noon-3:30pm and 5pm-11:30pm; Sun, noon-3:30pm and 5pm-10:30pm
A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
After nearly three decades on MacDougal Street, Nice native and former owner Jacqueline Zini decided to update her Provençal menu to include a long list of French tapas. Now, in addition to straightforward classics like hanger steak with green peppercorn sauce and breaded pork chop Milanese, there’s a much more interesting array of small plates that highlight the flavors of the Mediterranean. Their consistency, however, can be as rocky as the Cote d’Azur. The licorice overtones of tender escargot with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and asparagus in a Pastis-spiked broth is a welcome departure from the usual garlic butter, yet fried zucchini flowers arrive over-battered. Even long-time menu staples follow suit, with scallops buoyed by a soupy, undercooked pesto risotto. A dependable beef stew with rich red wine sauce and tiny ricotta ravioli hits the spot, and a creamy pannacotta with a not-too-syrupy strawberry topping scores another one for the kitchen. The NYU parents, professorial types, and ladies-who-dinner filling the room seem familiar with the hits and misses. They come for the steadfast charm of the brick bar and the cozy romance of the daisy and lavender-adorned windowsills. And it’s through those touches that Chez Jacqueline evokes the South of France most.Recommended Dishes
Escargots, $11; Provençal beef stew, $24