There’s something to be said for a solid neighborhood restaurant, a place versatile enough for an informal bite or a special occasion. Such is the charm of Bistro de la Gare, a West Village newcomer—with picture windows and crisp off-white walls—that takes its casualness seriously. Chef-owners Maryann Terillo (Jarnac) and Elisa Sarno (Babbo) combine their experience in an approachable Mediterranean menu. A seared scallop appetizer was simply presented with toothsome fava beans and black-garlic vinaigrette. Cool roasted-tomato soup was something we could imagine eating when it’s too hot to cook—a pulpy bowl with a drizzle of garlic oil. Seated in the back garden—a nicely landscaped space unfortunately devoid of air flow—we nursed a bottle of Sancerre from the reasonably priced wine list representing small, biodynamic vineyards. Dinner furnished more gratifying plates. Chewy house-made spaghetti (now off the menu) was dotted with plump mussels and rosy-pink gulf shrimp, all in a basic sauce of white wine, lemon juice, butter and parsley. A fried soft-shell crab entre featured juicy, lightly battered crustaceans over a crunchy celery-root rmoulade. Dessert—excellent vanilla-scented panna cotta, simple olive-oil cake—completed the meal. There were flaws—the pasta was somewhat doughy and heavily sauced; gnocco fritto that shared billing with the soup were room temperature and slightly stale; and had the waiter been more knowledgeable, we might have taken the place more seriously. But these types of missteps can be easily forgiven at a local haunt.