Rive Gauche Bistro – Athens, NY


Wow, what a find! I was alerted to this by a post on Chowhound, which has mysteriously disappeared, but I will be posting my own report there. Rive Gauche is everything you could hope for in a bistro. Charming decor, lively but not loud, warm and attentive service, and a large selection at reasonable prices. It’s classic French cooking done well.

The first thing to arrive on the table is a little ramekin of chicken liver mousse topped with a red wine gelee. Served with toasted bread, it’s a great starter. For appetizers we had the country pate, and escargot in puff pastry. Both were served with a pile of greens in a balsamic vinaigrette. The pastry was light as a feather. Portions are very generous. Our main courses were coq au vin (roasted, not stewed, but none the worse for that), and short rib Bourguignon, just a bit different from the classic, this one served on a bed of spinach. Both dishes came with a potato gratin. Now, I’m not a big fan of potatoes, but these won me over. For dessert, we shared a slice of dulce de leche cheesecake. It was very good, but I sense that the desserts are not made on premises.

The wine list looks pretty good, but we opted for beer. Stanley had Boddington’s and I had Keegan’s Mother’s Milk stout. We like these, but I was a little disappointed that the Founders Dirty Bastard, a favorite, was not on the list though I had seen it on the website.

All in all, it’s a great addition to the sleepy village of Athens and we hope to return soon.