Left Bank – New to us, maybe to you too

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Left Bank opened more than five years ago in the West Village, but up to now had escaped my attention.  As often happens, an offer from Blackboard Eats arrived yesterday, just as we were considering where to have dinner.  Looking up user reports, I thought it looked promising, so we gave it a try.  It was definitely worth it, and it is likely we would return even without the discount.

Though the name would seem to imply a Parisian bistro, the food encompasses French, Italian and American, with interesting twists on classic dishes and an emphasis on local ingredients and humanely-raised meats.  We noticed a definite similarity in style to the Red Cat, which is one of our favorites, and a little research provided the explanation.  The owners both previously worked at Red Cat.

I do wish they had a more extensive beer list (the Founders Dirty Bastard ale that was listed on the web is no longer offered), but we made do with Stella Artois.  I started with soft shell crab with fiddleheads and Stanley had octopus with sausage on a bed of chopped salad.  Both were vibrantly flavored and complex.  My main course of roasted brook trout was perfectly done, topped with salsa verde and served with endive and multicolored carrots in an aioli-like sauce.  The chicken was a perfect example of French-style roast chicken, served with shaved asparagus.  For dessert we shared ricotta cheesecake with stewed berries;  a generous portion and nothing really wrong with it, but not something I’d go out of my way for.

On the whole, a delicious meal, attentive service, and a nice atmosphere (not too loud, either).  This is a lovely neighborhood place, but also destination-worthy.

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