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Manhattan: Bistro de la Gare

626 Hudson Street , Phone: 212-242-4420
www.bistrodelagarenyc.com
Closing day: Mondays

Reviewed by: Kim from NJ, review #3917

When: 2012

Not one of the famous chefs' "destination restaurants" but a lovely place with decent prices and delicious food. We will return.

Directions: They say Greenwich village but it's on the northwest corner, just south of the meatpacking district. Reachable by taking the 1,2,3,L,A,C or E to w14th and walking. For driving, there's a parking lot located conveniently across the street.

On Mother's Day, we ventured into the city to see a Yankee game followed by dinner. I didn't want to head to any of our usual haunts, was looking for a place that took reservations, had availability only a few days before Mother's Day, and that would be easily accessible to both our car (we were driving in from NJ), as well as the subway (we were taking the train to the Bronx), as well as within walking distance to our favorite beer bar, The Blind Tiger for a pre or post game beer. Sight, and reviews unseen, Bistro de la Gare fit the bill.

To then read that they had a garden in the back where we could sit and dine, well decision made, and this Mediterranean influenced restaurant did not disappoint.

Though not needed, I made a 5:30 reservation (early for us but it was Mother's Day, it was a Sunday night, and we were coming from the afternoon Yankee game), via Open Table. We arrived right on time to an empty restaurant, and some of the kitchen staff, still recovering from their Sunday brunch, lounging at a table. No worries, we were escorted outside to the garden and given our choice of tables on either side of the fountain, lovely.

A note about the garden, it's not a big, open space with a view. Instead, it's a small courtyard, surrounded by buildings on all sides. Still, in the midst of NYC it was quiet, lovely and shaded from what was actually a hot sun in May.

We started by ordering some wine. It's not an extensive list, and I wasn't really familiar with anything. Because it was hot I didn't want anything ... heavy, I just described what I wanted to the waiter (light, crisp, a little fruit and not oaky) and he brought us a Spanish white which totally fit the bill; it was not expensive either ($38 for the bottle).

For the menu, they offer a price fix for $38 per person which includes any appetizer, dinner and dessert - good deal. There were a couple of options that had a $2 or $3 surcharge if you did them as price fix, but otherwise it was completely unlimited. The appetizers ran in the $10 - $12 range while the entrees were in the twenty dollar range. Some of these seem to be consistently on the menu (e.g., Housemade Rigatoni ~ with pork ragu and meatballs $25) while others were added based on seasonal ingredients (e.g., ramps with burrata). I started with the duck rillettes followed by grilled barumundi over broccoli raab, Chris started with a special of fava bean and pecorino crostini followed by soft shell crabs and Becky had the aforementioned rigatoni (house made pasta and delicious, meatballs were tender too). We all loved the food. For dessert, we shared the "best lemon torte you'll ever have," and it pretty much was.

Service was attentive without being overbearing or too quick.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal and are looking forward to returning.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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