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Best Neighborhood Bistro

255 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-855-1535


Like comfort food, the bistro concept has become a cliché, a last resort for lazy restaurateurs aspiring to the something-for-everyone ideal. But when done correctly (Quatorze Bis, La Lunchonette, Park Bistro), it’s a thing of hospitable beauty -- Cheers with steak-frites. There needs to be a real synergy between neighborhood and bistro, and -- judging by the nightly line of patient patrons -- Brooklyn’s Patois has it down pat. Chef-partner Alan Harding had cultivated a loyal following at the defunct Nosmo King, 9 Jones, and 131 Duane, but his Brooklyn clientele, long starved for a local restaurant of this caliber, may be the most devoted. With a flavorful, moderately priced menu (try the escargot in puff pastry or roasted chicken au poivre), surprisingly affordable wine list, and fashionably funky décor, Harding and his partners have answered their prayers. Now, if only they took reservations. . .


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