If East Village residents were saddened by the closing of longtime favorite Casimir, they should have been pleased when its owner, Mario Carta, re-opened the space as Pardon My French. Now in its second year of business, the charming and surprisingly spacious spot continues to draw crowds from near and far for its modern riffs on French bistro classics.
Though the wine list is well-curated and gently priced (the most expensive bottle is just $75), gin lovers should opt for the Mad Dog ($13)—a mix of Hendrick’s, lime, Maraschino liqueur, basil, and cucumber that is refreshing, not too sweet, and just strong enough to take the edge off. Follow that with the beef tartare ($14), which is seasoned with a light, tangy dressing and served on individual homemade barley chips that make it perfect for sharing.
While the menu starts off strong, it hits some rough patches with the main courses. Despite arriving piping hot and with the mussels cooked just long enough, moules frites ($22) are sorely lacking in the requisite flavors. The white wine and butter broth, a crucial component, lacks the salt and sharp garlic flavor that typically make it an addictive vehicle for slices of baguette. A much more satisfying option is the hamburger, an off-menu special that makes an appearance whenever the chef feels so inclined. Served on a brioche bun, the standard toppings—camembert cheese, tobacco onions, and triple smoked bacon—are rich, flavorful, and suitable for the surroundings. The accompanying French fries are thin and crisp, served fresh out of the fryer with a heavy dose of salt that makes them hard to resist.
Depending on the forecast for the rest of the evening, opt to end the meal with a traditional crème brûlée ($7) before hitting the side bar for a pregame cocktail or nightcap. Perhaps the best kept secret in the neighborhood, the bartenders here are some of the best personalities around (and are known to offer the occasional shot of tequila or whiskey towards the end of the evening).
All things considered, Pardon My French has the personality and pedigree to offset some relatively minor missteps in the kitchen. The bar here is as good as any for date night or a solo dinner, while the rear garden is one of the city’s most under-the-radar outdoor dining spaces. The emphasis here is clearly on indulgence and hospitality, both of which come in spades and make this a spot where it would be wise to become a regular.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER DYLAN STILIN
|Venue name:||Pardon My French|
103 Ave B
|Cross street:||between 6th and 7th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed 5:30pm-2am; Thu, Fri 5:30pm-4am; Sat 11am-4pm; Sun 11am-2am|
|Transport:||Subway: L to First Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $25|
|Do you own this business?|