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Claudette 2.0, Outdoors at The Tin Building, and the Boathouse Returns
Happy Monday my friends!
For many of us, today is a big day because it means the kids are in sleepaway camp! (Did you hear the cheers across Brooklyn yesterday?) I love my kids to the moon and all over the universe and back, but a few weeks of solo time for mama is, shall we say… err… welcome!
Not sure if you’ve ever been to Claudette, the French bistro set on lower 5th Avenue which Carlos Suarez (Rosemary’s, Bobo, Roey’s) opened in 2014. I had not been in a while, but last week I returned to check it out since it’s had a little makeover.
It’s now got a dreamy azure seaside vibe, decked out in blue and cornflower yellow, with rattan tables and chairs. It’s the kind of setting that makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the city and into the port of Provence.
The menu by chef/partner Edwin Rivera has also been revamped, moving away from the North African influences and leaning into more classic French fare and coastal cuisine—think Grand Aioli - a classic French dish, overflowing with fresh crudites and housemade aioli; a variety of glistening crudo, from ceviche and tiradito to carpaccio and tartare; grilled whole fish with a choice of confit tomato tapenade or sauce verte; Roast Sasso Chicken with Provençal vegetables, parmesan, and cast iron croutons; and a beautiful bouillabaisse stocked with sea bass, prawns, clams, mussels, and lovely lobster.
My friend Beth and I had a very nice meal there last week and it made me think you should go have one too. We started out with an icy tray of oysters and two glasses of bubbly, then some Sancerre with crispy fried artichokes dabbed with lemony caper aioli. There was more wine with a plate of grilled octopus, tomato confit and white bean ragout. We finished dinner with the lamb couscous and a side of their crispy salty frites served in classic fashion in a silver cup lined with a cone of paper.
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Quite frankly, the fries are enough of a reason to visit. If you need another reason, they have a homemade baguette service that comes with a football-sized mini baguette, warm from the oven swaddled in a little dish towel like a newborn babe, with an olive oil so rich and fragrant I honestly wanted to drink it.
I loved Claudette not only because the food is solid, but because of the service (excellent), and the lovely room. It’s rather transporting, with a breezy, airy coastal vibe, like the French riviera has popped up on Fifth Avenue. Go with some friends, bring a date, take your parents. It fills all those buckets nicely. Enjoy!
Claudette is located at 24 Fifth Avenue and is open for nightly happy hour and dinner, weekday lunch, and weekend brunch. Reserve here.
The Tin Building’s New Outdoor Bar
I’m sure you’ve visited the Tin Building by Jean-Georges, his 53,000-square foot culinary marketplace by now, but I am most excited about the new al fresco Outdoor Bar @ Tin Building out on the waterfront of the sprawling Seaport’s South Plaza.
The Tin Building’s Outdoor Bar was built for summer Fridays, with bubbly on tap alongside lots of summer-friendly wine (rosé all day) and beer (including Back Home!), and a list of thirst-quenching cocktails like a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, a Bourbon Apricot Cooler (Bourbon, apricot, lime, mint), and a Summer Berry Mule (Bourbon, blueberry, blackberry, lime, ginger beer).
On the wine-friendly menu there are snacks like hummus and crudité and dukkah chips, and a tidy list of simple sandwiches: Fresh Mozzarella with rapini and tomato on focaccia with serrano peppers; Jambon Beurre on a baguette, with Paris ham, Emmentaler cheese, cornichons, mustard; and Mortadella & Provolone (ciabatta, pecorino Toscano, arugula). Of course you can also take food out from one of the dining destinations inside:
House of the Red Pearl (Chinese-inspired fine dining)
The Frenchman's Dough (Italian with a twist)
Seeds & Weeds (vegan & vegetarian)
Shikku (Intimate sushi counter)
T. Brasserie (French fine dining in a Parisian bistro atmosphere)
Fulton Fish Co. (Cozy counter for fresh seafood dishes, wine & cocktails)
Double Yolk (Fast casual breakfast & lunch bar)
Taquito (Mexican fast-casual taqueria)
T. Cafe (fresh-baked pastries & coffee)
Crepes & Dosas (sweet & savory)
If you’re down that way this summer, pop over for some drinks. Cheers!
The Central Park Boathouse Reopens
The Central Park Boathouse is back! Consulting Chef Dave Pasternack (formerly of Esca) is collaborating with the Legends’ hospitality team (Yankee Stadium, One World Observatory) to open its new all-day café. His menu (8am-7pm) includes morning pastries and breakfast sandwiches, a Fried Fish Sandwich ($15) made from crispy Atlantic cod, tartar sauce on a buttered potato bun; a Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and chives on a buttered split top bun; a Grilled Vegetable Toasted Sandwich layered with seasonal vegetables, pesto and herb goat cheese on ciabatta; and a namesake Boathouse Burger, with secret sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheddar on a potato bun.
But don’t feel like you need to have a formal meal; you could also just pop in for a frozen custard, or a cocktail, cold beer or a glass of wine with that lovely view of the lake and the rowboats.
The Central Park Boathouse’s Café is located at East 72nd Street and Park Drive North, New York, NY 10021; centralparkboathouse.com), and is open seven days a week. Its additional Waterfront Dining, Restaurant, Bar, Events, and Catering will be opening in the late summer/early fall. For more information, visit centralparkboathouse.com.