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Belleville, Cocotte, Moutarde - Similar, which is best?

I live on 5th Ave., and have eaten at Moutarde (dinner) and Cocotte (brunch), but not Belleville. Does anyone know these restaurants well enough to parse them up for me? Which is flat-out the best? Which has the best brunch? Dinner? Thanks.

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  1. Unfortunately, they are all mediocre and have been in steady decline for quite sometime now. Cocotte used to offer a good brunch, but the quality has really suffered this past year, and the slow, neglectful service has all but put the nail in the coffin in it for me. Belleville has a good vibe and the service is good, but the food just doesn't measure up. The same goes for Moutarde. Both of these places are average, run-of-the-mill options for when you don't want to venture too far or think too much about it. They ceased being destination spots a long time ago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Deuce

      of the three, i have to say belleville is the best...but not by much. the service and food at cocette are just plain deplorable...i gave that place too many chances but its just horrible. moutarde isnt horrible, just boring.

      belleville isnt amazing but it does the job for french bistro in the neighborhood. service can be spotty to say the least.

    2. I find them all pretty deplorable; Cocotte was a notch above the other two a long time ago, but declined steadily (and, well, it's moot: now closed).

      There are some bistro approximations at Stone Park Cafe that I find reliable and more or less at the same price point: steak poivre frites, frisee av. lardons, some kind of cassoulet. If my craving is more specific than that I just may have to get on a train.

      1. I think that you are better off with decor....since Cocotte is now closed check out Belleville better layout than Mourtarde...

        1. Belleville is absolutely deplorable, in my humble opinion. I've posted about this before, but I've been there 3 times, twice for brunch and once for lunch. The food was really, really mediocre, completely uninspired, and overpriced. Lazy, americanized french bistro food. I kept going back because it's very convenient to my apartment and I was hoping that my first and then second bad experiences were flukes. The third confirmed for me that Belleville is a relentlessly disappointing restaurant. I'm sorry if this opinion seems needlessly disparaging, but I guess I'm just mad at myself for pouring money repeatedly into this place when there are so many superior places to eat in the neighborhood.

          1. I've only been to Belleville for brunch and I was completely unimpressed. The service when we were there was horrible. My friend ordered the petit dejeuner (which didn't actually involve any cooking--just juice, a croissant, and coffee) and it too them forever to bring it. Our egg dishes were ready and getting cold before they brought her breakfast. I can't even remember what I had, it didn't stand out at all. My husband got the baked Mediterranean eggs, which I'll admit were good, but not worth going back for.

            Cocotte used to make a delicious French toast, but as other people have mentioned the service was horrible, and now they are closed. I've enjoyed Moutarde for dinner a few times, but never for brunch. We have it on our list of future brunches to try.

            3 Replies
            1. re: brooklynbrownie

              I know its not necessarily on topic, but as far as brunches in the nabe go, I am quite a fan of Scotaditto's brunch special. With unlimited coffee and mimosas it is a great deal and the food is quite good -- I love the eggs benedetto (their take on benedict with speck and a pesto hollandaise.)

              1. re: brooklynbrownie

                I'd throw AOC into the mix. I thought it was best of the mid-slope bistros, much better than Moutarde and Belleville. (Canaille in the North Slope was also decent, but very weird, and had a much smaller menu.)

                1. re: bobjbkln

                  We (3 people) went to AOC for brunch about a month ago, and will not go back.

                  The service was very slow and indifferent - especially one waiter was a real arrogant brat- and the wait for the food took foooooorever. We were trying to be very patient, but finally we were just at a total loss. Not a single staff member acknowledged the wait, in any way.

                  The one thing I liked there was a starter soup with mussels in it. My Tuna Niçoise salad was not good; the one at Moutarde is much, much better.
                  And all three of us felt queasy a bit after the brunch, so something was definitely not "kosher" at AOC.

                1. Though a little more casual than the three restaurants on this post, Le Gamin on Vanderbilt Ave. offers fairly good French Bistro food at very reasonable prices. Fantastic roasted chicken, french toast, salmon and creme fraiche crepes.

                  1. Of those three, we have chosen Moutarde as a brunch place to go to every once in a while.

                    Cocotte, as has been mentioned here, is closed. When it was pretty new, we tried it several times, both for dinner and brunch, and just could not stand the slow service. And since the food was not that great either, we abandoned Cocotte for good.

                    When Moutarde was new, we tried it for dinner, but did not like it. As I mentioned above, we like it for brunch every now and then.

                    Belleville we actually liked in the beginning. The service was pretty good and they had some great wines on their list (and real, big wine glasses) and the food was OK. Actually pretty enjoyable for casual, "OK" food. Belleville was very popular in those days. Then their food quality dropped - so we "dropped out" and never came back.
                    - It is amazing how many restaurants go this route: First they are popular, then they decide to start cutting corners (mistakenly thinking that their popularity will still carry them) - and, voilà, soon they notice they are not popular anymore, and struggle even more than they did before they started cutting corners.

                    1. I'd throw Canaille into the mix. It's in North Slope, close to Flatbush. Small place, great food, great wine list -- especially by the glass, just ask the owner/host. The menu is small, but what they serve is excellent. Don't think they serve brunch, though.

                      Moutarde is decent. I miss Cocotte, as we live up the street from it and for us it was always satisfying on those nights I just did not have the energy to cook. Will need to find a burger place now, as their's was excellent.

                      Belleville is just plain awful, food-wise. Service is decent -- nothing to write home about.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Vshu

                        I went to AOC Bistro on 5th and Garfield for brunch recently. The place was packed but we got lucky with our table. All of us were very happy with our dishes (I had a solid omlette and the home fries and side salad were good as well, others liked their quiche and an interesting dish with poached eggs, phyllo pastry and ham) and the service was fast and good. I would put it in the top 5 I've had in Park Slope, which isn't saying much because I've had some bad brunch experiences at Stone Park Cafe, Applewood and a couple of otherwise good restaurants.

                        The space itself is smaller than Moutardes but larger than Canaille and quite attractive. I took a look at the dinner menu and it seemed to offer the sorts of dishes that one might expect at a good bistro (Coq au Vin, Steak au Poivres, quiches, various salads). It might be worth adding to the list of 5th avenue bistros to check out, especially given the lukewarm reviews that other current or former rivals on 5th have gotten on this thread. I will definitely be making my way there for dinner at some point.