Backstory; a couple of years ago I joined SearsStyle for a brunch at Bagatelle in the Meatpacking District where I had the most amazing black truffle scrambled eggs. Since then I always meant to return, if not for the truffled eggs than at least to try their other eating options. I recently spotted them on Gilt City* (a higher-end version of Groupon) and thought it was a no-brainer, of course I bought a voucher for lunch! Out we went on a blisteringly cold day, my sister, my voucher and I downtown to Bagatelle.
Our voucher included one appetizer, two entrees, and one dessert. We started with a Bagatelle Salad – hearts of lettuce, parmesan cheese, fresh garden herbs, and a mustard vinaigrette. The salad was crisp and fresh, the vinaigrette was a bit heavy for my sister, but I thought it was great.
As an entree, I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tartare Bagatelle – featuring a lime soy vinaigrette, avocado salad, and taro chips. The portion was massive. I always forget how filling tuna is, especially raw tuna. I loved the lime soy vinaigrette – which really added a much needed citrus flavor to cut through the clean and creamy flavors of the tuna and avocado salad. Now, I’m in no way a chef or culinary professional, but I feel like I would have enjoyed it far better if the portion was made smaller or served as individual bites. There was nothing wrong with it – the flavors were great – but it was just not something I really enjoyed eating, if that makes sense.
My sister ordered the Steak Frites Chimi-Choron Sauce – black angus sirloin steak, homemade pommes frites, and cilantro-chipotle bearnaise sauce. No stranger to heat, chipotles, or cilantro, we both deemed this sauce a dud. The fries were perfect, as in you could-not-make-them-in-any-way-better perfect. The steak was also perfectly cooked (medium/rare), but unfortunately Bagatelle seemed to be lacking in serrated steak knives. A quick trip to Bowery Kitchens next door in the Chelsea Market would have taken care of that. So in short, cutting the steak was a job. Such a job, it took away from the enjoyment of said steak. I felt like I was ‘tearin the beastie wit me bare hands’. Also, as fun as having steak for lunch sounds, unless you work on a ranch it’s definitely a safer bet to go for something lighter.
Our choice of dessert was the Creme Brulee aux Framboises. We actually picked this out while looking at their online menu before we even arrived at Bagatelle. It’s meant to be a raspberry creme brulee served with salted chocolate cookies and raspberry sorbet. What is was was a deliciously creamy creme brulee, perfectly torched, served with raspberry sorbet – whose tart flavor was the most ideal accompaniment to the sweet creaminess of the brulee. I was tempted to lick the plate. It was a perfect end to our otherwise so/so meal and a reminder of why Bagatelle had left such a lasting impression on me in the first place.
Ultimately, I feel like their entrees were a let-down from what had drawn me back. Could it be it was due to a slow afternoon or maybe the head chef wasn’t in? I don’t know. It is a beautiful restaurant, the dessert was delicious, and the service is definitely on point, and my sister and I had a lovely time just chatting and enjoying each others company – but the entrees, not so much.
1 Little West 12th Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 488 – 2110