Antibes Bistro - comforting food
I was taking some people to go try Kebab Garden when just within half a block from the restaurant one person said she likes anything BUT middle eastern food, and another said she doesn't like Turkish food. Oh. OK, so directly across the street from Kebab Garden, we stumbled into Antibes Bistro - a very fortunate stumble.
It's a small, narrow space with herbs plants in the window, white wooden tables, benches and chairs. casual, but cloth napkins. Every time i feel this way about food I always think i'm imagining things but...i liked the roundness of the food here, the way textures and flavors balanced perfectly and unpretentiously. It's the kind of place you will eat everything off of your plate.
We had the Beet and Goat Cheese Cake where the goat cheese was fragrant, not "goaty". The way it's assembled and presented was beautiful - layers of tender beet slices sandwiching soft goat cheese with herbs.- but it was the taste and the mouth feel that you'd enjoy even if blind folded. Also enjoyed the Roquefort and Poached Pear Salad, the Guinness Braised Short Ribs, and the Pan Seared Yellow Fin Tuna. All the sides were really tasty, except maybe the Haricot verts that was a bit undercooked and maybe would have been improved if French cut, but that's really minor and nitpicking here. They were out of the home made pasta (fettuccine and ravioli), which, knowing how things taste now, I will be sure to try next time if it was available!
The Pear tarte tartin was again rich and round tasting that had a nice home-made quality to it. I was most grateful for the long coffee that the owner pulled for me when I ordered the Americano. He didn't just do the usual "espresso plus hot water". When I saw the nice thick foam on the coffee and tasted the wholesome thick but not muddy coffee I knew that I will be back.
127 First Ave, between 7th and 8th street
212 533 6088
11-11 7 days a week.
Yes, I went for brunch once after the line at 9th St Market was too much to bear. It really is that plate-licking good. Fantastic coffee (I had an americano too, which blew me away, and my bf had a turkish something or other that was also great), delicious food (had smoked salmon on a potato pancake that was perfect, and bf had french toast (i think) that was also fantastic). Sorry it's been a month or two and memory fails me, but nothing we had was anything less than stellar -- that much I remember. I also worry that it's always empty. I'd go all the time if it were a couple blocks further east (lazy me). I still need to try it for dinner. I love the ambiance of the place as well. It feels like you are sitting in a little cafe in Europe, a thousand miles from trashy 1st ave (I say that with love, 1st ave).
I thought the brunch portions were perfect -- we left full and satisfied but not stuffed -- and yes prices were VERY reasonable, if not surprisingly low for what you are getting. I will say though that I often find the brunch portions at other places to be too large (and overpriced, and with a lot of "filler"), so it's possible that a big eater might find the portions small. The quality makes up for it though.