When good Americans die, they go to Paris.
(Paris in the West Village)
14 Christopher Street
New York, New York 10014
Dominique Bistro is located at Christopher and Gay Street in the West Village. It is a charming area with lots of boutiques and cafes nearby. The Jefferson Market Garden is just down the block. It was a cold and rainy night when we arrived at Dominique Bistro. Our group was my wife, our daughter and her friend from Berlin.
We were greeting promptly and cheerfully by the hostess when we entered.
The Website says that Dominique Bistro is a touch of Paris in the West Village. The restaurant is quite small and was crowded. Because of the very high ceilings, the noise level was not too bothersome but it was too many bodies squeezed into too small of a space. It has large windows that look out onto Christopher Street. It is very attractive from the street.
In the back of the restaurant is a large Warhol-like artwork of a female face; vaguely suggestive of Marilyn Monroe. There is an attractive wooden bar running along the side wall. The wood feels more Danish modern than either West Village of Paris. There are large mirrors hung on the side wall and they reflect the windows and the street scenes and the diners. The textures of the restaurant are dark wood, glass and weathered brick. It is small and charming and could be romantic depending upon the crowd. It does not seem very Parisian to me except for the menu.
There appeared to be only one waitress serving the whole restaurant.
However, she managed to take care of our table competently. She was so busy that we did not have much interaction with her except for the transactional aspects of the dining experience.
The menu has an interesting section called French Market. It has standard dishes such as Steak tartare, mussels, octopus, escargots, foie gras, and baked camembert.
The mains are standards such as branzino papillote, halibut provencal, coq au vin, steak au poivre, and cote de boeuf. They offer boards of charcuterie, cheese and “Le Grand Mixe.” The desserts are basic offerings such as chocolate souffle and mousse, and creme brulee.
We ordered the branzino (with zucchini, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes), the halibut provencal (with tomatoes, olives, garlic, fennel, capers and tomato broth) and the coq au vin ( with roasted organic chicken, carrots, onions, mushrooms, lardons and red wine demi).
Lardons are small matchstick-like slices of bacon or salt pork.
The food is presented on attractive vintage French country dinner plates. All of the dishes were competent and enjoyable. However, none of them stood out as being extraordinary or memorable.
I have been to Dominique Bistro for lunch and it was more enjoyable. Their were fewer people, the energy was less frantic and the staff more relaxed. I had a Croque Monsieur (gruyere cheese) which was served with mixed greens.It was excellent. It was a warm day and the windows were open. I lingered over the meal, read my book, wrote in my journal and pretended I was in Paris.
Service: 6 (Very busy and impersonal but professional)
Archetype: 6 ( Dominique Bistro does not follow the bistro Archetype. It is more like a neo-bistro in design but a traditional bistro in menu.)
Food: 7 (The food was competent but not exciting or creative. I would rate it higher for lunch. )
Energy: 6 (Busy and crowded. It would be better to come early or for lunch. )