242 Court St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718-243-2151
So many French bistros in Brooklyn seem to have sprung from the same starter kit (Pastis jugs on shelves? Check. Frosted mirrors? Check. Vintage-looking posters? Check. SERVICE NON COMPRIS written on the menus? Check. And ça suffit already!), which is why it’s such a relief to step into Quercy. Owned by Jean-François Fraysse, the man behind West Chelsea’s La Lunchonette, the restaurant feels more provincial (it’s named after his native region in southwestern France) than faux-Parisian. And it serves elegant but homey food that anyone who grew up with a French grandmother—or Julia Child– worshipping parents—will immediately recognize. Coq au vin or boeuf bourguignonne with a side of crisp, just-buttered-enough green beans. Asparagus soup. Trout slathered in almonds. A lovely tarte Tatin, in apple or pear, with sour (but not too sour) crème fraîche. French places are having a hard enough time these days; Quercy has the added burden of occupying one of Cobble Hill’s most accursed storefronts (at a recent dinner of longtime locals, nobody could keep count of just how many places had come and gone—“Yeah, I think I had a mojito here once . . . ”). All the more reason why this bistro deserves a resounding “Oui, table for four” rather than a boycott. .
Best Brooklyn Bistro
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).