Claudette

With a mind-blowingly large number of restaurants in NYC, it is not quite easy to re-visit a restaurant unless there was something that makes me go back on my first visit. I haven’t had a chance to make a second visit to the charming Provencal bistro Claudette in Greenwich Village largely because there were other restaurants ahead of the list and also while the food at Claudette was over delicious, there weren’t enough factors that made me think of this restaurant again other than the charming vibe. When a couple that I frequently dine out with said they haven’t tried this place, I took that as an opportunity to see how the kitchen has evolved over time since its opening in 2014, when the restaurant was one of the harder tables to secure.

img_3085
Roasted Beets (Beet Coulis, Walnuts, Watermelon Radishes)
img_3086
Cauliflower (Cherry Tomatoes, Coriander, Agave Lemon Vinaigrette)
img_3087
Charred Octopus (Chickpeas, Harissa, Parsley)

The menu format at Claudette hasn’t changed much, consisting of some light vegetables, cheese and meat plates, appetizers and large dishes. I do recommend getting a couple of fresh vegetable dishes to start the meal here, such as the roasted beets with walnuts and watermelon radishes or cauliflower with cherry tomatoes and coriander. By now, I’ve had countless octopus dishes in the city, but the charred octopus with chickpeas, harissa and parsley is one of the better ones with very nice balance of flavor and texture.

img_3089
Rabbit Cavatelli (Black Olive Rabbit Ragu, Guanciale, House Made Pasta, Applewood Smoked Onion, Parsley Tarragon Coulis)
img_3090
Black Angus Rib-Eye (Mild Harissa and Herb Aioli, Roasted Potatoes, Scallions)

The main dishes that we ordered were all successful as well. Rabbit cavatelli with black olive rabbit ragu, guanciale and smoked onion had the rustic touch that I very much enjoyed, and black angus rib-eye was also juicy and tender while working quite harmoniously with roasted potatoes and scallions on the side without too much seasoning that could’ve undermined the texture of the meat. Grilled branzino was also fantastic in its simple form without too much salt. All of the main dishes were better than the ones that I had had last time (chicken tagine and bouillabaisse), and really showcased the light yet soulful personality of the food of southern France. For dessert, stick with French classics and order the decadent ile flottante with vanilla crème anglaise, caramel and hazelnuts praline.

img_3091
Grilled Branzino (Sauce Vierge, Charred Lemon)
img_3092
Ile Flottante (Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Caramel, Hazelnuts Praline)

Getting a reservation at Claudette is now easier than when the restaurant first opened, but the restaurant was still relatively packed on a Tuesday night. As with my previous visit, I was in love with the very European décor of the restaurant that makes you think you’re sitting at a café somewhere in southern France, with handsome and well-dressed crowd. Claudette has a full bar with extensive French-centric wine selections paying homage to the region that inspired this restaurant. Sometimes, the magic of first-time visit isn’t quite there at a restaurant that I re-visit, but I would say Claudette is an exception. I was overall pretty pleased with the Provencal fare at the restaurant, even more so than my previous visit.

KenScale: 8.0/10

  • Creativity: 8.0/10
  • Execution: 8.5/10
  • Ingredients: 8.0/10
  • Flavor: 8.5/10
  • Texture: 8.0/10

Address: 24 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Telephone: (212) 868-2424

Website: http://claudettenyc.com/

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s