Chagall Bistro, Park Slope
A new kosher place opened up, the only kosher place in Park Slope, on the corner of 5th Ave and 5th St.
this is a great place that offers real French food/dishes which happens to be Kosher as well. i went there and was surprised by how well the food was presented and how good it was. clients were half Jewish and half non Jewish. the atmosphere was great and i felt like i was in Paris. Being from Paris myself i really appreciated it.
We were there for lunch today. The atmosphere is pleasant and felt authentically bistro-ish to my husband, who traveled to Paris many times as a child/teen, before he kept kosher. The crowd was quite varied, with probably only 1/3 of the customers being kosher-keepers. They're still working out some bumps; this was the first time that they're making a kosher brunch, and our order was delayed >30 minutes, although after 20 minutes, we received several effusive apologies and a free bread basket. The bread basket, containing toasted challah and baguettes, plus two rugelach, was otherwise $10. It came with little dishes of honey, strawberry jam, and margarine, and I spent some time wondering what would be a reasonably-French non-dairy butter replacement, because margarine just isn't it. Maybe goose/duck fat? Olive oil seems too Italian, but perhaps schmaltz is too Central/Eastern European.
We had the classic bistro roasted duck breast over lentils, which we enjoyed, and the saffron risotto, which suffered from the lack of dairy. After eating various pareve risottos over the last few years in various fleishig restaurants, I've come to the conclusion that it just can't be done well without butter and cheese. Our two desserts, the floating island and the blueberry clafoutis, were very tasty, and gone very quickly!
We are not generally in the neighborhood, and wouldn't travel the hour or so just to go there, but would go back if we were nearby.
I liked it. The food was good and the atmpsphere was pleasant. There were 2 of us, so I tasted a cocoabean/duck soup(special) and the pea soup. A grilled tuna (special) and the duck breast. And a dessert souffle. Some items on the menu (a beer, two wines, lamb) were not available for an early dinner. The waiter should mention the unavailibility of lamb. But everything I tasted was good.
Nothing, however, was good enough to induce me to travel to Brooklyn. Not when I can go to La Marais, a wonderful restaurant. If you're already in Brooklyn, that's different.
I am willing to go to Brooklyn just to eat. I want to try Basil again. I've only been once, but I suspect that it may be worth the trip to Brooklyn.
Pardes certainly is. When next in Brooklyn, I'll head striaght for Pardes. Really, why settle for anything less?