About two years ago, I visited Table Verte, a vegetarian French bistro, the only one of its kind in New York City. Since that time, Chef Didier Pawlicki has rebranded the restaurant as Le Village. Many of the vegetarian and vegan options remain on the menu, but now you can get a rich Coq au Vin to go with your vegan Brussel Sprout appetizer.
In my opinion, with Chef Didier in complete charge, the food quality has increased dramatically. The restaurant still remains its location on east 7th street, a few steps from Avenue A. The policy of BYOB, also remains, with no cork fee (got to love that).
Now, the food. I sampled a number of the signature dishes, include the Soupe a l’Oignon (French onion soup). I’ve had this soup many times in the past, including in Paris, and this soup is rich, full of depth and can absolutely stack up to the best I’ve ever tasted. Small, house-made croutons, warm melty cheese, what more can you ask for out of a soup?
The other appetizers I tasted were the Brussels Sprouts with balsamic glazed strawberries. An odd sounding combo that actually works. It’s a bit peppery and has a nice bite. The other appetizer that you may require a loan to eat, since it’s so rich (though not expensive), is the ravioli in creme sauce. When I think of ravioli I think of Italy, but in this case, France kills it. Would be a nice side as part of your meal, to share.
The two entrees I tried were the coq au vin and the eggplant lasagna. Of these two, I would and could eat two portions of coq au vin. The chicken, bacon and delicious multi-day broth, is just superb. The lasagna was no slouch, and the eggplant was nice and soft, not tough like it can be served.
To end the meal, we had the banana brule, which may not be my favorite type of desert, really gives a nice end to the meal, without being overly sweet.
Le Village really offers a warm, cozy atmosphere and well prepared French dishes. Many bistros in New York have long menus with every single classic French dish, most of which are not well prepared. Le Village offers less items, but each is well crafted and thoughtfully prepared. I shall return.