Sunday, July 11, 2010


9 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-4844

Reviewed 7/27/2008

Disclaimer: I am biased towards Frenchy things.

Pastis, je t'adore.

It was a Sunday morning in July, already sweltering, when I stepped into the bistro. And I immediately fell in love.

The service was gracious and accommodating upon arrival. Though I was twenty minutes early, I was promptly seated. Chilled water and coffee arrived immediately. Even after sitting there alone for TWENTY minutes, they accommodated me with kindness when I told them that I needed another table because, unexpectedly, an additional guest--girlfriend M's brother--was arriving.

It is casual dining, but it is French, and so it is refined. The service is not only attentive, but works harmoniously--I was waited on by at least five people if you include the hostesses, and everyone was working in synch, complementing one another.

Bright with natural light, the place is inviting, and inclusive. Something about the way the tables are set up evokes the warmth of a meal in someone's dining room.

And you can show up in jeans there.

The food is awesome...well, truth be told, I haven't had anything substantial enough to critique; but, I am so taken by the place that I have near-blind confidence that everything will be good. If it's any indication, my chilled orange and carrot soup, with its slight tang, was incredibly refreshing on a hot and humid day--and my yogurt with granola and fruit was exactly that--pure and simple--with no detectable funky additives. You actually can mess up a simple dish like this by using chalky yogurt, store-brand granola, and out-of-season fruit. By the way, their coffee was perfect. Very possibly it was laced with something that made me very happy to be there. Because I was.

I went to Pastis again later that day to pick up bread for friends, and a very kind waiter, who saw the streaks of sweat staining my blouse, offered me a glass of iced water. It was a nice touch that won me over. Again.

I almost went to Pastis again the next day, alas, there are too many awesome restaurants in Manhattan, and I was running out of time. So I went to Jean Georges instead. It was also excellent (and I ate a real meal there), but beneath it all, I'm more of a Pastis kinda-girl.

Pastis is like the man I am willing to hold out for: simple yet refined, unpretentious, yet brimming with understated charm.

Anyone know any places like it in the California Bay Area, please e-mail me. I don't like long-distance relationships.

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