For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…

Everything is tiny at Buvette. From the tiny glasses, paper menus, chairs, to the larger-than-life waiter. It all makes you feel like you’re in a doll house having a tea party. And the food isn’t half bad.

The first time we came for dinner at this self-named gastroteque, we were charmed by the surroundings, but the not surprisingly small portioned food left a little to be desired (aside from a memorable oxtail marmalade). But we didn’t order the brandade and since that dish ended up on the Time Out list, we were more than happy to give Buvette a second chance.

This time we met Raphael, the star waiter who is restlessly charming and hospitable. And I think we may have ordered better, understanding how our appetites work in comparison to the portion size.

We started with the rabbit confit, which was served cold and in a jar to spread on toast. Personally, I’m not a fan of cold confit, so needless to say this wasn’t my favorite. The vegetable dishes fared much better. A cold plate of poached leeks were soft, tender, and topped with a tangy dijon mustard sauce. A bowl of stewed lentils and kale were warm, earthy, and hearty.

For the final course, they brought both the brandade and a beef bourguignon special which was nice and flavorful, but could have used more than just two pieces of beef.

The brandade, which was the reason we were here, was quite tasty. Another mason jar arrived topped with crunchy toast. This time it was delicately whipped cod fish with potatoes, olive oil, garlic, and milk. The result is a fluffy spread that is quite heavenly with hunks of soft potatoes and hints of salty fish.

We ended the meal on another delectable note. I had forgotten how rich and dense the chocolate mousse was until I tasted it again. Its dark, salty, and just sweet enough. Topped with homemade whipped cream, it’s a perfect clincher to a subtle and tasty meal – a meal fit for even the tiniest of people.

Would Buvette’s Brandade make my Top 100 of the year? It gets an 8 out of 10 since it was light and full of flavor without being too salty or fish.

BUVETTE
42 Grove Street (between Bedford and Bleecker Street)
West Village
(212) 255-3590
ilovebuvette.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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