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Feb 19, 2006 11:51 AM


  • c

Has anyone been to a*bistro on carlton, between willoughby and myrtle? It is one of my favorite restaurants, and I'm torn between raving about it and keeping it as a ft. greene secret or singing its praises so more people will eat there.

The food is fantastic, especially the mussels and the salad. Among the many things I like about the Senegalese restaurant is you can order a large or small portion of food and it is a BYO place.

Sometimes it can take a while to get your food, but that's because there is only one chef. But I think the food is really worth the wait.


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  1. I concur--and the people who run it are very pleasant. What's the name of those black eyed pea fritter appetizer?...holy cow, that's some tasty stuff.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Squinchy

      Is this run by the Yolele/Dakar people?

      1. re: Lambretta76

        No, I don't think so. It seems to be a couple. She sort of runs the front and he cooks. I would say the food is better than food I've gotten at Dakar. I also thought Yolele's food was better than Dakar's--I know one of Dakar's owner was also an owner at Yolele, but Dakar's food seems inferior to what Yolele served. Anyway, I once had an outstanding meal at a*bistro--I think I got fried chicken with coconut rice and it was perfect.

        1. re: Sue S.

          Definitely not run by anyone. Just the couple. They used to be my landlords when I lived in Brooklyn. I lived there during the birth of Abistro and through the infant years. It is so fabulous, I love it, and I love them!!

    2. I ate here tonight and I thought the food was quite good. I've never had Senegalese before, so I can't speak to the authenticity, but I definitely enjoyed this first foray into the cuisine.

      The cod / black-eyed pea fritters were amazing-- great texture and flavors, and perfect when dipped in the accompanying spicy sauce. Salty and light, not at all greasy. The plantain gnocchi were interesting, but a bit cloying after a few bites because they were so sweet. Steak was more medium than my medium-rare request, but still tender and tasty. It had a peppery hot sauce that distinguished it from most other steak frites I've had. The fries were crisp and well seasoned with herbs and red pepper flakes. The fried chicken had a light crispy breading and was presented in a spicy dijon mustard sauce and pineapple/jasmine rice cake. This sounds like a weird combo, but the flavors came together well.

      The bread pudding was also really enjoyable, although I wish they'd make their own ice cream intead of just using haagen daz.

      Overall, good food, especially if you like spicy, and a really lively and attractive crowd. Also, it's BYOB!

      1. I love A Bistro. Full disclosure compels me to say that my daughter fulfilled her six-month restaurant work requirement there, prior to starting at Culinary Institute of America. The place is tiny and cozy, and Chef Abdoul is both a delightful person and a really creative chef (he worked in Paris and then was chef at Aquagrill in Soho before opening up this place with his wife, Cassandra, who is American). The "Senegalese fusion" description he uses is pretty accurate; there are Senegalese dishes but also a number of American dishes that he spices up with Senegalese flavors, including the delicious chocolate cake infused with ginger and the Sunday brunch spicy pancakes. We've eaten there a number of times and never had anything but a satifying meal, from brunch to burgers to braised lamb shank to short ribs to crabcakes and all sorts of wonderful fish dishes. Beautiful greens and salads, too. Even the tofu dish is flavorful. The BYOB feature is nice for saving money. Overall, it's a friendly, intimate place with very gracious hosts and great food. Definitely a neighborhood jewel. (And I'll always be grateful that Abdoul and Cassandra were great mentors to my daughter, who loved working there.)

        1. A friend suggested a*bistro for brunch and we had a great time - we've been meaning to go back as the food was excellent and service lovely but haven't gotten around to it. I think I had a house special omelette and I remember the spicy pancakes being really tasty. I really love small and intimate places like a*bistro and can't wait to return.

          1 Reply
          1. re: amdicorleto

            I agree that a*bistro is a great spot for brunch. Was there a few weeks ago - good to hear they're still at it, as it wasn't very populated when we were there. But the food, service and bright windows were wonderful!

          2. We had dinner there last night and really enjoyed it. As remarked on by others the cod/pea fritters were delicious, but the show stealer amongst the appetizers was a special. It was a warm conch dish (which is I believe done with the same prep as the regular menu item squid). The conch was tender, a little spicy and very sophisticated dish. Entrees were also very good. The fried chicken was both crispy, moist and tender. My steak was properly cooked and was sauced very well in a chile pepper sauce with spicy fries. The codfish was fresh and delicious and the "banana gnocchi" get my vote for most original take on fufu. Save room for dessert, the bread pudding is a winner. Really nice people running the show. BYOB makes the dinners a bargain. If you are not starved, the half size portions make a more than adequate meal if you are having apps and dessert. Also, try the hot sorrel drink.

            1 Reply