Recently I read about a new “gastrotheque” in the west village – featuring cured meats, croques Monsieur, and other French country delicacies. Naturally it went right on my to do list but, not being open for weekend brunch (quelle horreur!) I didn’t get to go until this past Monday, January 2.
A friend of mine and I popped in for a late lunch on a cold afternoon (finally it is cold!), which might be the perfect time to visit Buvette, a warm, cozy nook of a place on Grove Street right off Bleecker in the West Village. Although, I imagine it’s pretty stellar for breakfast too. We installed ourselves at the marble bar, ogling the plates being assembled before our very eyes, trying to decide which of the 15 things we wanted to have. There was a great selection of cheese and charcuterie, plus a range of sandwiches, a few salads and a smattering of egg dishes. The drinks list features two (2) cocktails: the Manhattan and the Martini; as well as lots of wines, beers and a few champagne concoctions.
When we finally got some attention (the service was friendly but either they need better multi-taskers or more people) we ordered drinks – I the Rosette, which is champagne with dried cherries, and my friend a glass of Pineau, a musty, grapey fortified wine. The Rosette is a great alternative to the perennial Kir Royal, and by the end the cherries had plumped up nicely with the bubbly so I could pick them out with my spoon. Nothing like a good alcohol laden piece of fruit.
For food we decided on the steak tartare – served, like everything else we ordered, on crusty, country bread; brandade de morue – a kind of cod pâté that was delicious; and duck rillettes because I am incapable of not ordering rillettes when they are on the menu.
They arrived with a healthy serving of plump, green olives and globular pickles that were tangy and salty and eminently poppable.
We were totally full after this, but naturally I couldn’t leave without sampling the mousse au chocolat – a dense, dark one topped with whipped cream. Sinfully good. Next time I’ll have to leave room for the tarte tatin….
Location: 42 Grove Street, between Bleecker and Bedford
Subway: 1 to Christopher Street
Prices: $45 each for 3 savory plates, 2 cocktails, and 1 dessert; cocktails $12 each, plates about the same