A Taste of the Néo Bistrot L’Accolade

People.  We’ve done this before, right? It’s date night. But instead of picking a familiar place or even a newish place, you want to have an extra fancy date night. So, you pick reservations, scour through places like Resy and the table thing which I don’t know off the top of my head, and pick a spot, and read the menu. You want to make sure that everything seems good off words and pictures to make sure that you and your partner will have a good time. You’re here to impress with a fancy dinner for a special person.

Words and pictures are powerful things, ladies, and gentlemen. They persuade us, inspire us, and entice us to do something that we never would have thought we do. Heck, even I hope my simple blog posts inspire and persuade you to try something new that you’d never have before. However, despite being on the other side of the picture by being the writer, I am sadly reporting that this restaurant and its fancy words and interesting options enticed me, maybe a bit too hard, which lead to a love almost hate relationship between me, my partner, and our food this night. This is the brief tale of how my night at L’Accolade, a French Neo- Bistro Restaurant in Bleeker St in Manhattan, went.

L’Accolade is a French néo-bistrot located in Bleeker St in the West Village of Manhattan Manhattan. Open since 2019, the restaurant primarily focuses on operating as a wine bar with small plates. For dinner, they offer “prix fixe” or fixed price menus. For $65 dollars per person, 2 courses; 1 appetizer and 1 entrée are offered. 2 Appetizers and 1 entrée are offered for $85 dollars per person. As much as I would like to provide some sort of news about the wine, I will have to forgo that information because I drove to this restaurant. I opted for the 1 appetizer 1 entrée option.

For ambiance purposes, the restaurant is very simple, with both wine posters decorating walls and wine bottles all around atop shelves. The lighting was a bit dim to create a better ambiance. It’s a somewhat small restaurant, and with-it being Manhattan and a lot of people around eating on a Friday night, the restaurant tends to get very loud very quickly, so much so that you’ll have trouble hearing the person you’re facing.

The food here seems somewhat haute, consisting of small portions decorated on fitting plates. There’s a running joke among people who view fancy or decorated food as all small, and ridiculously expensive with a huge mark up, saying something along the lines of “that’ll be 200, sir.” For a small piece of fish with a drop of sauce.

Despite that, while the food may appear on small portions, it knows how to present itself very well in both presentation and flavor. Starting off with one of the appetizers, two seared scallops sat atop a bed of coconut corn puree, garnished with farro and edamame all around. The scallops had a beautiful color on them being seared well. Eating the scallop combined with the coconut corn puree together leads to a combination of a briny, slightly charred scallop with a creamy, buttery, and nutty coconut sauce. The farro and edamame together provides a nice textural difference but could have used a bit more salt. Vincotto, a dark red almost wine like sauce adds a nice contrast to the plate yet provides a sweet and pleasant contrast to the overall mouth feel of the dish. This small plate packs a tiny bite.

Scallops atop coconut corn puree with farro

Moving on to the next appetizer and personal favorite, their beef tagliatelle with an orange squash sauce. Green peas, chopped pistachios, and parsley leaves sat atop for a nice garnish and color contrast of the orange sauce and black tagliatelle noodles. The shredded beef combined with the sauce and pasta makes for a silky, and salty mouth feel thanks to the pasta, but the real star of the show is the bits of crumpled gorgonzola cheese. The cheese adds a noticeable funkiness and creaminess to the rest of the food, as well as adding a nice contrast of flavor to the rest of the pasta. Such a delicious yet small plate.

Tagliatelle with shredded beef and gorgonzola cheese

One thing that stands out with food here is how colorful and resentful the plating on dishes is, especially with how noticeable they are given their portion sizes. Since portions seem a bit smaller here, it appears much of the empty canvas of the plate is left as room to decorate both the food and the plate itself. The NY strip and bone marrow executes this very well, presented as if’s art somehow. Besides all the microgreens on the plate, and broccoli serving as a bed for a piece of meat about the size of an adolescent closed fist, there seems to be a little too much room for presentation and not quite enough for food. One singular, almost thin as a playing card thousand layered potato covered in green and white dots of puree, sits atop a very gelatinous, very grainy bone marrow covered in chimichurri.

Despite the potato being so thin, it’s seasoned well and has a nice crisp to it. The steak is cooked perfectly to medium rare, very tender and seasoned well. The bone marrow seems a little lost in translation though. I’m no stranger to bone marrow but normally it has a smooth, fatty, almost buttery like feel to it. Sadly, the bone marrow here felt like I am biting into something which had the consistency of a singular Nerds candy, and even worse was that it had no taste to it. The chimichurri helps give it flavor somewhat, but it’s almost extremely hard to mess up chimichurri, it’s great on literally everything.

NY strip steak with bone marrow and potato

The next entrée seemed to have a bit more fun with both plating and flavors, and it certainly payed off. One piece of dry aged duck about the size of a chicken tender sits atop a bed of summer squash, decorated with blackberry puree next to it and a jus atop the duck. The duck itself is very tender and moist, with a good crunch of crispy skin to go with it as well. The blackberry puree provides a nice contrast of sweetness to compliment the duck. I’d go so far as to even prefer it more than its traditional orange sauce. One would call this dish duck two ways, as the makeshift drumstick next to the duck contained shredded duck meat inside it as well. The presentation with both the bone and the wrapping to make it seem like a drumstick was a neat trick. The wrapping used for the drumstick was flaky, almost reminiscent of fried empanada dough. Together with tender, juicy duck meat and a nice fried crust makes for a delicious lollipop duck treat.

Duck two ways; summer squash, blackberry jus

As always at times, a meal would feel incomplete without dessert, especially one this satisfying. Imagine taking a bite out of a warm chocolate and vanilla tart drizzled with honey and topped with vanilla ice cream. The tart alone by itself is fantastic, being supported by it’s thin crust, you really taste the richness of the custard inside the tart, and the chocolate atop providing decadent sweetness. Adding a dollop of ice-cream atop really brings the whole dessert together; I wish I could have devoured at least 3 of them alone.

Warm chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream and honey

Coming to L’Accolade was an interesting experience to say the least, especially eating at a Néo-Bistrot for the first time. While I was attracted to the menu before seeing the food due to all the words, my reality was a little bit shattered by how small the portion sizes were. Prices seem somewhat reasonable thanks to the prix fixe option, but don’t expect to leave feeling full. You’ll probably find yourself visiting a nearby fast-food restaurant to make up the rest of your appetite. Despite this, everything besides the bone marrow tasted good; great even. Portion sizes aside, I recommend coming for the experience and to try a take on French bistro cuisine if you have not before and have money to spare.  It’ll be a somewhat fancy twist on date night if you bring your partner to enjoy the experience with, and not too pricey either. To me, L’Accolade gets a 7.8 out of 10.

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