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Bistro Vendôme

Restaurants, French Midtown East
3 out of 5 stars
Photograph: Michael Skigen
Photograph: Michael Skigen

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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New York City thrives on youth, and our restaurateurs build monuments to young tastes—cacophonous dining rooms and lighting too dim to read a menu by. Rarely do we encounter a place quiet enough to discuss the weather, and as well-lit as a grocery store. But we’ve found such a place in Bistro Vendme, a new French eatery occupying a split-level brownstone carved into several skylit dining rooms. Vendme’s location—just off ritzy Sutton Place—attracts a built-in senior-citizen clientele ambling over from their nearby abodes. Owners Pascal and Virginie Petiteau (the husband-and-wife team who once ran midtown’s Jubilee) seem to be courting that crowd: The food is conventional but competent bistro fare, service is old-school polished, and the decor is mild with a peachy paint job and bland art that would be at home in a doctor’s office. Based on the escargot appetizer, one can assume the patrons are watching their salt intake. The snails required a healthy shake to bring out their garlicky, buttery flavor. A lobster Caesar salad was also underseasoned, but the dish—lightly dressed romaine with generous chunks of sweet claw meat—was tasty once we doctored it with table salt. Meanwhile, a boneless rib-eye entre, though plenty juicy, was thinner and leaner than the pricey cut ought to be. The Dover sole meunire was an improvement—a delicate rendition of the classic dish, served in a puddle of lemony brown butter. A saccharine raspberry gratin and tough tarte Tatin for dessert, however, were misfires. With a meal like this, Vendme won’t be luring any whippersnappers from their corner banquettes at Balthazar. But twentysomethings aren’t the only ones who need to eat in this town.

By: Time Out New York editors



Address: 405 E 58th St
New York
Cross street: between First Ave and Sutton Pl
Transport: Subway: N, R to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St
Price: Average main course: $24. AmEx, V, MC
Opening hours: Mon–Fri noon–3pm, 5:30–11pm; Sat 5:30–11pm; Sun noon–3pm, 5–10pm
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