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The Best Menu Items At: Bagatelle

In my series, "The Best Menu Items At...," I cut the fluff and get straight down to business: Which food/drink items are so stand-out that I'd order them time and time again?

Restaurant: Bagatelle (yes, I'm serious)

  • Cuisine: French-ish, Mediterranean
  • Location: 1 Little W. 12th St. - Manhattan 10014  
  • Pricing: $$$$
  • Reservations? Yes, click here
  • Why go? Parisian gnocchi, model oogling/models-and-bottles, Instagram-worthy desserts, brunch parties


Bagatelle is not the type of restaurant that I typically frequent.  Sure, I enjoy French/Mediterranean cuisine and copious amounts of rosé just as much as the next person, but more often than not, I'm having a 'fat girl' day and I'd prefer *not* to be surrounded by models and their entourage when I'm trying to get my grub on.  Even the employees at Bagatelle are flawless!  Or being sprayed by champagne during one of those infamous weekend 'brunch parties.'  Call me boring, but I'll take my omelette with a side of peace and quiet, thank you very much.  Hold the Hollandaise and the live D.J.  

All of that being said, I recently enjoyed dinner at Bagatelle sans a live D.J. set and was seated a good two tables' distance from the next gaggle of young models.  It was quite a pleasant and delicious evening!  My point?  Bagatelle has something for everyone, even your grandparents me!  Just do your homework prior to your visit to make sure you're a) not about to walk in to a party (if that's NOT what you're looking for) or you're b) about to walk in to a party (if that's NOT what you're looking for).     

Tuna Tartare

While most versions of tuna tartare pale in comparison to Chef Jean Georges' famous rendition at Nougatine, Bagatelle's interpretation can stand on its own.  

The trifecta of textures - ripe, buttery avocado, crispy and salty taro chips, and cubed pieces of fresh, ruby red-hued tuna - flirt so compatibly with one another that you will find yourself enthusiastically alternating between bites of tuna and taro - tuna and avocado - avocado and taro, etc. - kissed with a sweet and savory soy dressing. 

Tuna Tartare

Gnocchi à la Parisienne 

There's gnocchi.  And then there's Parisian gnocchi.  Sounds way more fancy, right?  It is!  If you're familiar with a profiterole, the same dough is used to make Parisian gnocchi: pâte à choux.  Hint, there are no potatoes in the French version of this recipe.     

I'm not going to go as far as to say that I prefer the French rendition to the Italian, but damn.  Nothing quite compares to these perfectly-cooked pillows of warm dough that effortlessly envelope the inside of your mouth with such a rich, savory 'carb elixir.'  Paired with a buttery cream sauce infused with a mild hint of truffle, the dish is finished with salty parmesan cheese.  C'est magnifique!  

Gnocchi à la Parisienne

Apple Gala

This is one of those dishes that, upon arrival, is so visually unexpected and artfully stunning that it takes your breath away.  Quite literally.  And best of all?  Unlike fondant on a wedding cake, it tastes great, too!  

I can't quite describe this masterpiece beyond the notes on the menu: "Mascarpone mousse, apple filling, white chocolate, sablé Breton, fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream."  

Bottom line: If you're down with apples and willing to shell out $16 for a dessert, then don't even think twice about ordering this Instagram-worthy morsel of edible art.

They should rename this 'The Big Apple'...

Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle 

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