- READER REVIEWS
This venue is closed.
Tom Valenti’s stolid bistro, which opened in a stripped-down, unrelentingly dark-toned space on Broadway and 77th, is a slightly more accessible, down-market version of his flagship establishment, Ouest. The dining-room walls are painted burgundy and sheathed, in a kind of clubby, neo-saloon style, with smoky mirrors. The banquettes are covered in acres of shiny brown pleather, and there’s a glimmering flat-screen TV over the bar, where you can watch Knicks games in the company of middle-aged bons vivants from the neighborhood dressed in their natty tweed coats, while chomping on the generous “house-ground” cheeseburger ($16), and a fine yuppie version of the Cubano pork sandwich ($14) flattened to a dense toasty goodness in a panini press. There’s a professionally executed escargot vol-au-vent on the menu, too, poured over a puff pastry, a worthy neighborhood rendition of steak tartare, and tender little sections of batter-fried quail plated with cool potato salad and creamy buttermilk dressing. Valenti has a fondness for offal dishes, but I’d avoid the braised duck gizzards (“coeurs et gésiers”) in favor of the duck-leg confit (set over a bowl of pork sausages and buttery sauerkraut) or the pan-roasted cod (with an excellent Mediterranean topping of zucchini and tomatoes) or the giant, truncheon-size fish and chips, served over a small hillock of hot, salty fries. If you’re still standing after this impressive, relatively economically priced barrage (none of the entrées costs over $30), I recommend the custard-filled tarte Basque ($8), a stylish little dessert, even by the now lofty standards of the Upper West Side.Note
Avoid the dull back room, which has all the charm of a train-station cafeteria.Ideal Meal
Escargot or steak tartare, Cubano panini, pan-roasted cod or duck-leg confit, tarte Basque.
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