The West Village has seen its fair share of shuttered windows over the past year, but like a forest that burns down making it possible for tender new shoots to get a bit of sunlight, a crop of new restaurants have recently sprouted up.
The newest to surface is Bistro De La Gare (gare means station in French -- cafes located close to train stations are often called Bistro de la Gare), opening Wednesday on Hudson and Jane, next door to fellow new comer, Molé (the colorfully tiled sister of the LES Mexican joint of the same name).
Bistro's owner is no stranger to the neighborhood. Maryann Terillo was a chef/partner at the long-beloved Jarnac, just a few blocks away, which closed last fall (now Recette). The chef de la gare is Elisa Sarno who worked as a chef at Mario Batali's award-winning Babbo for 10 years, where she also helped plan special menus.
Terillo describes the fare at Bistro as Mediterranean with strong Italian and French influences. The menu, which includes "farmer's notes" at the bottom will change frequently depending on what is in season and available at the local markets. In mid-February that means dishes that make you feel pretty good about hunkering down during this relentless arctic winter. The friends and family-only Valentine's menu (procured from the hands of Terillo who, on Monday, was busy overseeing the final touches) included grilled baby octopus with canellini beans, broccoli soup with cavatelli, braised rabbit with mustard sauce, roast baby chicken with walnut butter and for desert, olive oil cake with winter fruits, roasted pears with pecorino shortbread and cinnamon-vanilla panna cotta.
The space itself is equally as comforting, painted from the warm side of the color wheel; the tables covered in fresh white linens. The wine list features biodynamic and sustainable varieties with a special section for women vintners.
The closest subway station to this particular bistro de la gare, by the way, is the L, A,C,E at 14th street.
Bistro De La Gare
625 Hudson Street