I am not sure how I should interpret the name of Bâtard, the Michelin starred restaurant that received many accolades. Bâtard is a bastard in French, with a possible interpretation that the menu crafted by Executive Chef Marcus Glocker, who has an Austrian background, is inspired by multiple European cuisines. The second interpretation is that it refers to a French rustic baguette. I’ll go for the former! Elegant but not stuffy, Bâtard is the sort of classy restaurant where you wonder if you should not have dressed up, their smart casual dress code being surprising considering the experience we had. It is the kind of place where you wonder if they have more patrons or staff, the latter being like in a beehive, going around the dining room to make sure no diners is in need of anything.
For dinner, they serve a tasting centered around the entree: $65 for 2 courses, $85 for 3 courses and $95 for 4 courses. Portions are not that big, so I was fine with the 3 courses, but for Jodi, the experience was a bit disappointing as they did not have any vegetarian entree and she ended up paying $65 for an appetizer and a dessert. Not very accommodating for this type of establishment, I would have hoped that they would have taken that into account in the bill by reducing the cost, but they did not. I admit that this is surprising for a Michelin Star joint and it does not make a vegetarian feel welcome. Nevertheless, the food there was quite good. Here is what we had:
I started with a cocktail, the Zucca Sprezzatura, a mix of Street Puma Scotch, Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro, lemon tonic and Bittermens grapefruit bitters. Very good, it had a nice acidity to it but unfortunately too much ice (what about putting a big cube?).
For my first course, I chose the carrot soup with crispy sweetbreads: this was superb. The soup was creamy, with a nice spiciness building up in the back of my throat and the sweetbreads were delightfully crispy, the two pairing well together.
Jodi ordered their Doppio pasta that were amazing. It was like a duo of pasta as if you had two kinds stuck together: one being filled with squash and the other one with ricotta. This was quite good, the one with squash having a nice sweetness.
On my side, I opted for the duck breast, served with small pickled pears, foie gras butter and rye crumble. This was fantastic: the duck was cooked as ordered,medium-rare and its skin was deliciously fatty and slightly crispy.
Last was dessert. For Jodi, the trio of sorbet that was composed of lemon, passion fruit and grapefruit (first time trying this flavor: superb).
For me, the brown butter cheesecake accompanied by a sweet potato ice cream. The best on the dish was the ice cream that was delicious and I admit that I would have never guessed that it was sweet potato. The cheesecake was just ok otherwise, lacking the wow effect that the description implied (yes, brown butter).
With the bill, came delicious fig macarons.
Overall it was good but not memorable. I liked my food but not to the point that I would put this place on top of my list. For a similar cost, in TriBeCa, I would go to Little Park.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Batard - 239 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013