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La Gamelle

Restaurants, French Nolita
2 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
 (Filip Wolak)
1/6
Filip WolakLa Gamelle
 (Filip Wolak)
2/6
Filip WolakDuck confit at La Gamelle
 (Filip Wolak)
3/6
Filip WolakSteak tartare at La Gamelle
 (Filip Wolak)
4/6
Filip WolakAsparagus mousseline at La Gamelle
 (Filip Wolak)
5/6
Filip WolakPâté en croûte at La Gamelle
 (Filip Wolak)
6/6
Filip WolakCharcuterie sampler at La Gamelle

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

“It’s fine.” Two words that will become your oft repeated mantra the longer your meal lasts at La Gamelle, a lovely if blasé retro brasserie from Motorino pizza mogul Mathieu Palombino, in the space that previously held the restaurant’s pop-up prelude, Chez Jef, and, before that, Bowery Diner.

No ghosts of the old diner haunt the space—Formica counters have been replaced with an imported vintage bar, schoolhouse chairs swapped for dark-wood two-tops—but there is some restaurant déjà vu going on. Maybe it’s due to the restaurant’s name (it’s christened after a long-shuttered Grand Street bistro) or its design (that bistro’s owner-chef Alex Gherab had a hand in

its Paris nostalgia).

It doesn’t help matters that Palombino’s menu is so play-by-the-numbers Gallic, loaded with exactly the sort of butter-shot foodstuff you’d find at any garden-variety French concept. Asparagus “mousseline” ($9) coats adequately tender stalks with a stock eggy hollandaise and little more. Steak tartare ($12), though generously portioned, arrives a touch formless and soft, and short on much-needed crusty baguette accompaniments.

The menu’s charcuterie section hits many familiar, and favorable, beats, appointed with snappy gherkins, good butter and more bread-basket refills than an Olive Garden: salty ribbons of country ham and petit jesus salami, porky cervelat rings, and creamy rabbit pâté en croûte paved with chewy prunes and crunchy pistachios ($12). You could easily make a whole meal there—a half-portion charcuterie platter sets you back $34, a few dollars above a number of the entrées—and you should.

That’s because main courses leave you stuck with jus-parched duck confit ($24) with smashed potatoes that betray not a dash of the spring garlic promised on the menu, and wine-splashed moules frites with oversalted fries and underseasoned bivalves ($24).

The cooking at La Gamelle is as tired as you’ll be after a bread-loaded meal here. No effort is made to live up to the legend of such dishes, let alone rewrite them. And that is, simply, not fine.

Posted:

Details

Address: 241 Bowery
NY
10002
Cross street: between Rivington and Stanton Sts
Transport: Subway: J, Z to Bowery
Price: Average main course: $24. AmEx, MC, V.
Contact:
Opening hours: Daily 5pm–midnight
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Users say (1)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
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tastemaker

I loved it here! The duck was incredible and it was nice to sit outside on the street - even though a little noisy.