incredible potato pancakes
I had these in a salmon poached egg brunch dish and knew I wanted to get them on their own on my next visit, because I LOVE latkes. They were super crispy and not greasy at all, served with both apple sauce and sour cream. Chef Edelman does it again. Perfectly executed.
Had an delicious meal last night at one of my favorite restaurants, Left Bank (leftbanknyc), with my girls saradish + blynner621! So happy to see Chef Laurence Edelman (chefedelman) -- he's the best. Now I know why saradish has been raving about Chef L's handmade tagliatelle with roast kid goat ragu... it was incredible! The goat was insanely tender and oh-so-delicious. Get over to leftbanknyc and try this pasta!
Enjoyed with estevino59 at leftbanknyc. chefedelman's sauted fresh calamari with Calabrian chilies & salsa verde is outstanding. Perfect taste and texture. I could seriously eat this dish all night. Heavenly . Check out Chef Laurence in action holyapostlesnyc's sustainable food & wine benefit on May 21st. Tickets & details on farmtotray.org. Use code SARADISH for $25 off tickets until May 1st.
There is much to like about the new West Village restaurant, Left Bank. The menu is inexpensive and admirably brief: just five starters ($8–12), three pastas ($16–18), four entrées ($19–23), three sides ($7), and three desserts ($5–8).
But there is a distressing lack of focus in that menu: lamb tartare, chicken, gnocchi, cheese. Not much that gets the pulse racing. It’s hard to imagine a signature dish emerging from the tepid offerings the restaurant has opened with. The wine list is as brief and as timid as the menu, with about a dozen uninteresting bottles.
If “Left Bank” leads you to expect French cuisine, you would be wrong. I won’t bother you with the tortured justification for the name—something about the Bohemian reputation of the West Village (which isn’t really true anyway). A romantic twilight photo on the restaurant’s home page doesn’t resemble, in the least, the restaurant’s actual location, a cursed space that was most recently Braeburn. It hasn’t changed much, and it gets awfully loud when the dining room fills up—as it did on a recent Wednesday evening.
The owners, a couple of Red Cat/Mermaid Inn vets, ought to have known better than to choose such a frequently used name. Search for “Left Bank,” and you’re liable to find a restaurant in Buffalo, a restaurant on Second Avenue, or an apartment building in Chelsea, rather than this restaurant.
We shared a lamb tartare ($16; left), which was strewn rather lazily with leafy greens and strips of parmesan. I just barely detected the promised anchovy in the mix, but my girlfriend (who loves anchovies) couldn’t pick it up, so perhaps the balance needs to be adjusted.
She liked the Grilled Squid ($19; above left) a bit better than I did, but she noted that the beans and the tomatoes weren’t at a uniform temperature. I loved the Chicken ($21; above right), which was tender and garlicky, but the vegetables were unremarkable.
In a neighborhood that has bistro food on almost every block, I am not sure how Left Bank aspires to stand out from the crowd. The kitchen needs to pick up its game. Aside from the prices, several dollars per dish lower than comparable restaurants, Left Bank is awfully forgettable.
I could not get enough of leftbanknyc's chicken liver pate in a butter crust w pickled shallots, cornichons & grainy mustard. mmmm delish! chickenliver pate awesome chefLaurence
you can't really go wrong w a plate of east & west coast oysters + top neck clams leftbanknyc rawbar love oysters clams cheflaurence
cheflaurence makes this wonderful meaty pork dumplings by hand! they're awesome; if they're on the leftbanknyc menu, get them! dumplings meaty love
king of pasta
While everyone was watching La La Land "win", I was at @chefedelman's inaugural "#Timpano Sundays" @leftbanknyc. #PRIORITIES. This is MY vote for short film of the year, with everything #delicious under the sun baked into a #pasta crust. Housemade fresh #macaroni, #meatballs, #sausage, #pepperoni, kale, broccoli rabe, hard boiled eggs, fresh #mozzarella, ricotta, tomato sauce, aged provolone - my kinda cake
Fulfilled my #CarnivorousCravings leftbanknyc. chefedelman makes an awesome bar steak, grass fed shell green peppercorn butter. #WestVillage #Eeeeeats Check out Chef Laurence in action holyapostlesnyc's sustainable food & wine benefit on May 21st. Tickets & details on farmtotray.org. Use code SARADISH for $25 off tickets until May 1st.
Last week, I had a fantastic dinner with my friends from Tabélog, Sachiko, Kenta and Shouhei. If you read this blog, you probably remember my encounter with Tabélog, a year ago. Tabélog is a restaurant review site with over 40 million users in Japan, expanding now in the US. Their reviews are not anonymous, leveraging bloggers and putting an emphasis on photos, that is great considering that a photo is worth a thousand words. But, what I like also is that the team loves food as much as the bloggers they meet and it is always fun to exchange experiences and good addresses.
This time, we had dinner at Left Bank, a restaurant that defined itself as "an American tavern, inspired by Greenwich Village itself, and influenced by European sensibilities". At first, I thought it referred to the rive gauche (literally left bank) in Paris, that is, beyond a location, a movement of writers, artists and philosophers like Pablo Picasso, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Henri Matisse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others. You many not know the term rive gauche, but, if you went to Paris, you probably heard about Boulevard Saint-Germain or the Boulevard Saint-Michel.
I arrived a bit early (I hate to be late) and toured the restaurant to take some photos. What I like is that there is a bit of space between tables and they did not try to maximize the space.
When I looked around, I could definitely sense a European feel, reminding me a bit restaurants in Paris, especially La Butte Aux Cailles, where I use to live.
The menu, crafted by Chef and owner Laurence Edelman, is of a good size, offering small plates as well as just few choices per section (raw bar, appetizers, pasta, meat / poultry /fish, vegetables), made with ingredients provided by local farmers.
We decided to start with drinks. On my side, I ordered a thyme and ginger cocktail:
We then shared few appetizers / small plates. First was the chicken liver pate:
The presentation was appetizing and rustic. You may wonder what the layer around the chicken liver pate was. Well, it was butter! And I admit that it went well together. This is definitely a dish I recommend.
Then, we had the Mongolian fish dumplings:
It had a nice acidity from the lemon and were perfect for me as I do not like when the shell is too thick.
Then, we shared the lobster puffs with champagne cream:
This is definitely an elegant dish, the champagne cream pairing perfectly with the fresh cream puff, but keeping the lobster the star of the dish.
For the entrees, we started first with the homemade parpadelle, served with sunchokes and fava beans:
That was one of my favorite entrees, the pasta being succulent and the dish being hearty.
Next was the suckling pig porchetta:
It was served with English peas, thumbelina carrots, ramps. This was a very good dish: the pork was very good, with a nice amount of fat, paired with a bold sauce that did not overpower the meat.
Last entree was the iron roasted split chicken:
It was prepared with roasted shitakes, escarole and puffed wild rice. I was not a big fan of the escarole, but certainly was of the chicken that had a crispy skin, heavenly salty, and moist inside.
To stay healthy (of course), we also ordered roasted cauliflower:
I admit that I just had a bite to try, preferring to focus on the meat...
Last was dessert. We went for the olive oil cake with candied hazelnuts:
This was ...
Left Bank is a casual restaurant that serves familiar American foods from a number of different influences. The menu features many different flavor profiles with many dishes that are traditionally French or Italian. The food is very tasty and everybody loves the appetizers. There are many tasty seafood dishes, and there is a full bar.
The atmosphere is incredibly warm and cozy. It is primarily candle-lit in the seating area. It is quite shiny, and the furniture and ambience is very classy. The dim lighting and romantic feel make Left Bank a great spot to bring a date. The restaurant is simply lovely.
The service is friendly and willing to help with what is an exquisite menu of wines. The wait staff are very attentive and tend to be quite prompt. Left Bank is ideal for dinner with a special person, but can also accommodate groups. The bar also has exceptional service, with bartenders who make wonderful cocktails.