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Bar Breton


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#1 Wilfrid1

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:40 PM

Surprised no thread for this, but I suppose it's been discussed in more general threads.

I went for the first time, assuming I'd choose from the carte, but there's an irresistible $35 prix fixe dinner. Okay, there are plenty of those around town these days, but this is four courses (and substantial courses, at that), and Cyril Renaud is running the kitchen. Amazing value, especially when paired with one of the $20/$20 bottles on the wine-list. Bar Breton claims to be keeping mark-ups down, and I believe it. The two cavas offered, for example, are about double retail rather than triple.

The Pink Pig report does involve me learning to grapple with a new camera. But this is strongly recommended right now.
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#2 oakapple

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 04:28 PM

We also liked Bar Breton (blog review here). However, after that meal the g/f went back by herself and had horrible service, so the place is now off her list.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#3 Wilfrid1

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 09:29 PM

Service was by no means smooth. A long wait for pre-dinner drinks, for example. But it was friendly and just about hung together. Sorry to hear about her experience.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#4 djk

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:21 AM

wow, i went a few months ago and thought it was perfectly okay. i'd been curious and a little excited so finally committed based on the rec of a friend who had enjoyed a solo dinner at the bar the week before. he came late and met up with three of us. three of us who were sharing a few apps and a few glasses, wondering why he had insisted so. it certainly was deliciously aromatic upon entering. those buckwheat galettes entice and cajole, a bit like the truffle oil thing - it invites you in through the nose but no one is there to greet you when you arrive. we had the smoked salmon galette with horseradish and the spinach with goat cheese. yep, fine. i remember thinking my salmon was tasty, a friend liked her rabbit, another friend thought the pork chop was mediocre. two plus five minus three = yep, fine. my pal who had invited us all kept saying - huh? not nearly as good as it was a week ago. i don't think he succumbed to peer pressure, i think the loud thump thump music (which we asked to lower and they did) and the ho hum kinda tasty but so what dishes plus a wine list that is not great (maybe it was because they seemed to not have most of what we asked for) led him to his very own new conclusion.

i meant to go back. i still mean to. and since there is interest on this board, i suppose i should. maybe for breakfast, that seems inviting.

#5 Wilfrid1

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:17 PM

The wine program is curious. They make a point of stating on the website, and I think on the list itself, "(w)hile our list is updated frequently, the availability of some selections is limited." They also mention the low mark-up, and to the extent I checked they do indeed seem to be doubling rather than tripling retail. It's certainly an unusual list.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#6 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:20 PM

A friend's broken toe and her close proximity to Bar Breton led us there last night. I thought it was quite good for the money, although at 11 bucks a coffee cup the cider seemed a bit pricey. Had a cold green bean salad w/ shrimp and hazelnuts, an asian-y cold squid dish w/ avocado and watermelon (this was my least favorite dish of the night) We then had the smoked trout galette and the lamb galette (in lieu of the cod and brandade galette - they were out of brandade.) the lamb was pretty good. The tenderloin itself was a bit uninteresting although the meat itself was of a reasonable quality. Much better was the lamb filling in the galette itself. The veg garnish was quite good for what it was.

Smoked Trout and Buckwheat are actually two of my favorite things in the world, so I suspect I'm not the best judge of the other galette, but it was excellent.

Everything was nicely garnished and presented in a way that I wouldn't expect at this price point. They also seemed to be comping everyone in the house a mid course of very well prepared, extremely light, chicken croquettes.

Didn't really have any of the service issues mentioned up thread othen then having to flag down someone to ask for the check - which I feel silly complaining about. My friend was mildly upset that we got upsold from the cod to the lamb, we did have the menu in front of us when the waitress recc'd it so I'm not sure that is a valid complaint.

Will certainly be back.
Why not mayo?

#7 rozrapp

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 02:32 PM

QUOTE(djk @ Jun 2 2009, 08:21 PM) View Post
i meant to go back. i still mean to. and since there is interest on this board, i suppose i should. maybe for breakfast, that seems inviting.


They are no longer serving breakfast. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch M-F. Dinner every day.

Bar Breton

#8 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE(rozrapp @ Jun 25 2009, 10:32 AM) View Post
QUOTE(djk @ Jun 2 2009, 08:21 PM) View Post
i meant to go back. i still mean to. and since there is interest on this board, i suppose i should. maybe for breakfast, that seems inviting.


They are no longer serving breakfast. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch M-F. Dinner every day.

Bar Breton

I've always had a hard time believing non-hotel non-diner restaurants can make money serving breakfast
Why not mayo?

#9 rozrapp

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 03:58 PM

QUOTE(Anthony Bonner @ Jun 25 2009, 10:40 AM) View Post
QUOTE(rozrapp @ Jun 25 2009, 10:32 AM) View Post
QUOTE(djk @ Jun 2 2009, 08:21 PM) View Post
i meant to go back. i still mean to. and since there is interest on this board, i suppose i should. maybe for breakfast, that seems inviting.


They are no longer serving breakfast. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch M-F. Dinner every day.

Bar Breton

I've always had a hard time believing non-hotel non-diner restaurants can make money serving breakfast


Just off the top of my head, two small non-hotel/non-diner spots that seem to do fine serving breakfast: Friend of a Farmer and Penelope. And there are the Sarabeths....

#10 Suzanne F

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:54 PM

QUOTE(Anthony Bonner @ Jun 25 2009, 10:40 AM) View Post
QUOTE(rozrapp @ Jun 25 2009, 10:32 AM) View Post
QUOTE(djk @ Jun 2 2009, 08:21 PM) View Post
i meant to go back. i still mean to. and since there is interest on this board, i suppose i should. maybe for breakfast, that seems inviting.


They are no longer serving breakfast. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch M-F. Dinner every day.

Bar Breton

I've always had a hard time believing non-hotel non-diner restaurants can make money serving breakfast


Breakfast is a very high-mark-up day part. Eggs, bread, cereal, milk cost bubkes. Coffee sometimes yes, sometimes not, but always relatively inexpensive given the output per pound. Ditto butter. And "specials" can always use up excess product -- you don't have to use brand spanking fresh vegs as an omelet filling, and overripe fruit is better for compotes and quickbreads. Other expenses are mostly just for staffing, one or two servers (cooks are already there prepping). Overhead is overhead; this amortizes it a little. Maybe you have a slightly higher electric bill to have the dining room lights on earlier, and a bit more garbage, but unless you go the full tablecloth-and-linen-napkin route, other costs don't go up much.

But making money really depends more on volume, which depends on traffic. Friend of a Farmer and Penelope probably get very good neighborhood resident traffic (and FoaF always seemed breakfasty to me no matter what meal I was eating there); Sarabeth is all about muffins and jam anyway, and aren't those in residential areas?

Bar Breton is more of a commercial neighborhood, without zillions of big apartment buildings nearby. Plus it's fancier stuff, or so people think (not knowing that it's a lot of crepes).

FWIW, Les Halles near me (on John Street) does breakfast, but I suspect the volume is mostly business meetings anyway. I've never tried it.

the people who flock to dine at the restaurant on account of its reputation/stars are getting their money's worth because what they are after is a piece of the reputation/stars and nothing else. their money is not wasted. -- mongo jones, 11/5/2014

 

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#11 splinky

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:12 PM

lunch here yesterday. meh on service, meh on food. service was distracted and uneven. my guest arrived before me and was seated outside. when i arrived 3 minutes later they didn't tell me that he had arrived and said i could be seated or wait for him. luckily i said that i'd wait for him outside because that's the only reason i found him. pear cider in a small coffee cup?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#12 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:25 PM

Sympathies for the rest, but cider in a cup is an authentic tradition. Not that one therefore has to like it.

#13 splinky

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:28 PM

Sympathies for the rest, but cider in a cup is an authentic tradition. Not that one therefore has to like it.

When one asks for a large cider it's very disappointing. 6 oz is not a large

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#14 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:32 PM

Fair enough.

I remember being served a cocktail in a coffee cup at one of these faux speakeasy joints, and authentic or not it did nothing for the drink.

#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:03 PM

I'm hearing rumors that will make Wilfrid very happy.
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