Rebelle – Bistronomique on the Bowery

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Based on favorable reports on Chowhound, we gave Rebelle a try last week. It’s no suprise that the chef worked at Spring in Paris for a long time. The style here is typical of what’s known in France as “bistronomique”, updated bistro food, simple setting, reasonable prices, but very skillful cooking. They are definitely on to something. Though I’m not a big fan of the decor (the lighting somehow manages to be dim and harsh at the same time) and the noise level, the food goes a long way to assuage these minor complaints. Service was pretty good, too, attentive and just friendly enough without being over-familiar.

They will attempt to sell you on ordering four courses, but we felt that three were quite sufficient. We did not order bread, which they charge extra for, and as we are trying to limit carbs, did not feel was necessary. We started with sweetbreads and the scallops with sea urchin. Scallops are not a favorite of mine because I find them too sweet, but these were perfectly offset by the brininess of the sea urchin. Next we had the chicken and the monkfish, both delicious, and for dessert the excellent grape clafoutis.

The very impressive wine list contains many well-chosen bottles under $50, and the markup is lower than the standard. We had a very good cotes du rhone for $40.

I’m looking forward to returning.

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