dinner last night (edited from my posting on chowhound):

after an unexpectedly long and grueling day at the office, i finally got to meet up with tim on his one day off this week for a meal. i finally got back to the neighborhood around 10:30, and luckily, bacchus is open until midnight. after all the reports on chowhound, i’ve been anxious to try it (particularly since i’ll be moving two blocks away from it very soon). they only just opened three weeks ago.

as noted previously, the owners are very, very friendly and very nice. we sat in the front near the window, and it was not until a dozen people emerged from the back an hour in that i realized there’s a (charming) little backroom as well. it was pretty empty, but it was also late and weirdly misty outside.

started with the steak tartare and pate de campagne. both were good, the pate great even. tartare didn’t have the overprocessed problem that plagues most places, but was heavy on the cornichons (and filler in general). and i was craving some gaufrettes or lay’s or something to scoop it up with instead of slathering it on the (very good) bread they brought over. (a side note: the butter here is remarkably good, in that we both marvelled over its sweetness and lovely dairy purity.) pate comes with cornichons, a little ramekin of decent mustard, and some great little pickled pearl onions. drank some stella we’d bought from the deli around the corner.

i had calf’s liver with caramelized onions and garlic mashed potatoes. very, very tasty — this liver is actually better than the liver i had at al di la a couple of months ago: just enough of a crust to balance out the iron-y flavor. tim’s hangar steak was _PERFECT_. he ordered it rare, which the cook handled just right. i have to say, i haven’t sampled a piece of beef this delicious in quite some time. the cabernet sauce was totally unnecessary, so toothsome was this steak. his fries, a substitution for the gratin dauphinois, were also great, rivalled only by heights cafe’s.

we shared a slice of the tarte tatin for dessert, and while not especially great, it was respectable. could have used a greater ratio of ice cream to tarte, we think.

all in all, a winner. and so much better than the multitude of would-be bistros on smith and court. i can’t wait until they get their license. and those guys with their great accents (“zees ees, what you say, ah, zee beet?”). i love them already. a very welcome addition to the neighborhood; i think i might become a regular.


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