BAGATELLE DINNER // beyond the truffles in meatpacking

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Bagatelle is a European inspired restaurant in the Meatpacking District, known for their over the top brunches and lavish parties. With destination locations in LA, Rio, Sao Paolo, St. Tropez, St. Barths, Miami, Dubai, Punta del Este, their NY Flagship location is one of those place to see and be seen.

Upon arrival I sat at the bar while I waited for my guest to arrive. As I sipped on a glass of wine, I couldn’t help but notice the stunning black lace jumpsuit on the woman next to me (I wish I had asked her about the designer, but she was busy gossiping with her friends); to my right there was an equally good looking couple noshing on olives. The lighting was low, the decor was ornate and wafts of butter and seafood in the air.

Chef Sebastien Chamaret had come out of the downstairs kitchen so I started to chat with him about his cuisine. He joined Bagatelle in 2013 after closing Le Comptoir in Williamsburg. We joked that he left right at the beginning of the BK phenomenon but we are both Manhattanites and enjoy the city. When I asked him about the menu he rubbed his head and mentioned that it’s inspired from the south of France with influences of Asia, but I didn’t see that in the dishes he presented.

As soon as my guest arrived we took our seats at a small, round blogger table with five others. It was pretty cold that night so our jackets and bags hung heavy on our chairs – quite surprised the hosts didn’t make an added effort to check coats/bags for us, but we made do.

For the first round of appetizers, I enjoyed the selection of cheese from the board, and they also sent:

  • Salade Bagatelle: hearts of lettuce, Parmesan cheese, fresh garden herbs, mustard vinaigrette
  • Ceviche de Crabe d’Alaska: king crab leg, habanero & citrus “leche de tigre”, smoked trout roe
  • Tartare de Thon Bagatelle: ahi tuna tartar, avocado salad, lime soy vinaigrette, taro chips
  • Pizza à la Truffle Noire: black truffle, flat bread, crème fraiche, scamoza
  • Poulpe Grillé à la Plancha: grilled octopus, white bean hummus, crispy yukon gold, kalamata olives aioli
  • Gnocchi Truffés à la Parisienne de Nicolas: homemade gnocchi, black truffle pesto filling, truffle sauce

For the second course, my personal favorite was the pan seared black cod in the photo below. They also served:

  • Châteaubriand – Pour Deux: 24 oz center cut beef tenderloin, truffle potato purée, red wine and peppercorn sauce – for two
  • Canard aux Figues: pan seared marinated Hudson Valley duck breast, confit leg fritter, glazed daikon, fig & apple vinegar sauce
  • Poulet Rôti Entier à la Truffe- Pour Deux: whole truffled roasted chicken, country style potatoes, chicken jus – for two with a side of brussel sprouts
  • Dos De Cabillaud Poêlé : pan seared black cod fillet, braised baby artichokes barigoule, basil pesto emulsion

At the end of the meal the pastry chef stopped by to say hello and he was very sweet. I enjoyed his creme brulee and would order it again. However, the real star of the evening was someone unexpected, and his name is Fausto.

Fausto was one of the many men who serviced our table. I believe he is a bus boy and an exemplary one at that. He was humble, friendly, and his energy was very welcoming. Yes, our server was very handsome, model-esque and kind, but Fausto made an impression on me because of his drive and work ethic. If I dropped a fork, he had one replaced without having me request one, and he always delivered with a smile. I truly appreciated his attention to detail that many would overlook and how well he worked with his entire team. Great service can enhance my dining experience significantly and Fausto did just that. With that said, thank you Bagatelle and staff for inviting me to dine.

For readers who are looking for a truffle, champagne, over the top meal with a group of friends, Bagatelle is awaiting your reservation. It’s a great spot for a drink or a lavish date night in NYC. Bagatelle is located at One Little West 12th Street, cheers!

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