The gang here at FunFriendsFoodTravel loves fine dining. BUT, we hate pretension. With a restaurant named Bâtard, you know you are not going to a snooty establishment. It is anything but. Bâtard Tribeca is everything that a modern fine dining establishment should be.
It's a relaxed dress code environment where you can have a cocktail or a glass of wine from their extensive library before sitting down to dinner. The bas-relief vines dance along high walls that slightly lean-in. The restaurant always has a pleasant hum and a front-of-house staff that always remembers your name.
Front-of-house is presided by none other the Johnathan Winterman. NY locals might remember Jonathan at the venerable Daniel where he was maître d’hôtel. With the blessings of Daniel Boulud, Johnathan joined forces with Marcus Glocker and Drew Nieporent at Bâtard, where is he is Managing Partner. The title of Silver Fox of the NY food scene seems to volley back and forth between him and Eric Ripert.
The kitchen is led by Markus Glocker where his technique and precision in the kitchen delivers simple but elegant food to your plate using new techniques. When I say new techniques, this is not a restaurant where molecular gastronomy is used as entertainment at the expense of taste or flavor. We are talking classic flavors that wow your taste buds.
Take, for example, the rabbit cassoulet from the spring menu. Cassoulet is a classic rich Provencal dish that usually served during the dead of winter. It is a casserole of white beans cooked with pork sausage, duck, pork skin. It is rich stew. Glocker's spring interpretation deconstructs the dish. The rabbit is first made into a farce and wrapped in bacon as a roulade. No dry pieces of rabbit in your stew! Vinegar lightens the white beans and broth. The acid transforms a heavy stew of beans into something light and refreshing. Yes, refreshing. I kid you not.
Bâtard's Red Snapper Bouillabaisse is a modern interpretation of a classic fish stew. Most places in NY give you an overcooked stew, where the fish pieces are either overcooked or rubbery. Look at how perfectly cooked the shellfish is! It's sniper precision. Any Japanese chef in Tsukiji would be impressed. The pièce de résistance is the grilled prawn. So perfectly grilled! The smoky umami char enhances the broth's depth of flavor. The gnocchi? We all initially mistook it for cuttlefish! By the way, I guarantee you would be happy to munch on the shrimp head after finishing the stew.
Don't forget to order a side of wild mushrooms or carrots. The carrots are roasted and scented perfectly with vadouvan.
If you plan to have an appetizer, a visit to Bâtard should always include the terrine. When the restaurant first opened, Glocker wowed diners with an octopus terrine using pastrami spices. During this visit, we were treated to a beautifully layered terrine of foie gras, pork, and pistachios. Nothing less than spectacular. After we finished it, I kept thinking "Hmm, how about another slice?"
The hamachi crudo was fantastic. Served with barley miso, wasabi, it was scented with yuzu. Yuzi is a classic citrus complement to sashimi. Let's not forget about cheese cart. Winterman is a cheese fanatic, or more politely put an "expert in artisanal cheese." Bâtard has an excellent selection of domestic and imported cheese. No meal is complete without cheese.
My apologies for writing the review in reverse. Needless to say, the meal represented what a modern spring menu should be - fun, light and satisfying. We even managed to share a few scoops of pacotized gelato. We left the restaurant with full bellies but not feeling heavy. We wrapped up our meal with pacotized passionfruit and mango. I can't say enough good things about the Pacojet. The machine produces makes amazing gelato. Sorry folks, no photos. It was gone in a flash!
So if you are near the triangle below Canal Street, I highly recommend visiting Batard. Make sure you make reservations ahead of time. Like all reasonably priced Michelin starred restaurants they are busy.
Until next time I bid you adieu!
239 W Broadway
NY, NY 10013
Mon-Wed: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Thurs-Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Kent is a management consultant who has spent years traveling for work. His refuge is looking for the perfect meal so that he can reproduce it at home with his wife and friends.