Last week, I had a fantastic dinner with my friends from Tabélog, Sachiko, Kenta and Shouhei. If you read this blog, you probably remember my encounter with Tabélog, a year ago. Tabélog is a restaurant review site with over 40 million users in Japan, expanding now in the US. Their reviews are not anonymous, leveraging bloggers and putting an emphasis on photos, that is great considering that a photo is worth a thousand words. But, what I like also is that the team loves food as much as the bloggers they meet and it is always fun to exchange experiences and good addresses.
This time, we had dinner at Left Bank, a restaurant that defined itself as "an American tavern, inspired by Greenwich Village itself, and influenced by European sensibilities". At first, I thought it referred to the rive gauche (literally left bank) in Paris, that is, beyond a location, a movement of writers, artists and philosophers like Pablo Picasso, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Henri Matisse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and many others. You many not know the term rive gauche, but, if you went to Paris, you probably heard about Boulevard Saint-Germain or the Boulevard Saint-Michel.
I arrived a bit early (I hate to be late) and toured the restaurant to take some photos. What I like is that there is a bit of space between tables and they did not try to maximize the space.
When I looked around, I could definitely sense a European feel, reminding me a bit restaurants in Paris, especially La Butte Aux Cailles, where I use to live.
The menu, crafted by Chef and owner Laurence Edelman, is of a good size, offering small plates as well as just few choices per section (raw bar, appetizers, pasta, meat / poultry /fish, vegetables), made with ingredients provided by local farmers.
We decided to start with drinks. On my side, I ordered a thyme and ginger cocktail:
We then shared few appetizers / small plates. First was the chicken liver pate: