Our Man Sietsema: 'A Pig-de-Force'
Though the bistro is no longer the hippest thing going in the restaurant world, Manhattan is teeming with mediocre ones. But this week, Sietsema turns his attention to a couple of newcomers to the genre that turn out to be better than passable.
Belcourt has the mood down, and wins the roast chicken award. The menu is somewhat hit-or-miss, but when it hits, you get a "delectable lamb burger" or "impossibly tender octopus."
Metro Marché, located inside Port Authority, doesn't feel quintessentially bistro, and the roast chicken there was, at least on one occasion, disappointing, But the menu is a thorough compilation of bistro best-hits, including four versions of moules frites, the ubiquitous frisée salad with lardons, very good crab cakes onion soup, plus a "real bouillabaisse, sporting a brick-red broth, plenty of shellfish and monkfish, and rouille-smeared croutons."
Belcourt 84 East 4th Street (212) 979-2034
Metro Marché 625 Eighth Avenue (212) 239-1010
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