Cherche Midi, Bowery, NYC

We don’t go to the city often for dinner – DH hates to drive in, and when we take the train we don’t end up straying downtown. But last night we went with another couple and they drove!! So we went to Cherche Midi.

We were there once before. The place is gorgeous. Burgundy banquettes with pink cloths, light yellow walls with an up to the ceiling display of liquor. The hosts were very friendly and made us welcome immediately. We were seated at a table along one of the banquettes – tables were rather close together so we were talking with the people next to us quite a bit.

We were a bit disappointed that the foie gras we enjoyed last time was no longer on the menu. So, DH had steak tartare – which I normally don’t eat but tasted. It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. Capers, shallots, acid - it was exceptional. Another had the beet salad – shaved thin slices of heirloom beets with shaved Brebis and pistachios. She loved it – I did not taste. The plate was truly beautiful.
I normally would have done prime rib or black label burger for my entrée, but was feeling like something lighter, so I opted for the crispy suckling pig. Our neighbor at the next table had it and loved it. The skin was wonderful – crispy with a bit of fat, and the pig itself was a bit bland. DH had the prime rib and it was incredible – perfectly cooked with a nice brown well seasond, crispy edge which I ate. The cider braised onions were tender and sweet and the pommes soufflé were delicious and salty and served with ketchup! The other couple had the burgers so I had fries on one side and pommes soufflé on the other and was in potato heaven!

For dessert there was a blood orange crème brulee, which the neighbor table had and were not that enthusiastic about. We all opted for the chocolate espresso pot de crème. It was a perfect blend of chocolate and coffee and served with a dab of Chantilly cream on the top.

On a side note, service was a bit too fast. It took us two hours to get there and once we were there we had a good 15 minute walk to the restaurant from the car and would like to have had a bit more time between courses! But service was very good, very friendly. Our server had a very large tattoo on his are of numbers – he said it was his dad’s prison number. There must be a story there, but we never got it!

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Thank you WCG for a thorough and amusing review
With the exception of your entrée being on the bland side and feeling
a wee bit rushed it appears that you really enjoyed yourself and that it was well
worth a schlep to the city … :slight_smile: Your meal most certainly appealed to me

I absolutely loved it. And thanks, Chowdom!

Sounds fantastic. I put it on my list!

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Very helpful review! Weekend nights are tough eating out, seems a lot of places are either crazy loud and crowded with the neighbor table in your lap or they’re constantly trying to upsell and turn the table quickly… sounds like overall it was a good experience and meal. And, dad’s prison number?? As a tattoo? :thinking: there’s gotta be a good story there!

Thank you, Ttrockwood! I do love Cherche Midi and don’t even mind the “neighbors” if they’re friendly!

I’m so glad you enjoyed Cherche Midi. We’ve been many times, and it never disappoints.

You might want to consider going to Augustine, another Keith McNally restaurant. Very much like C.M. with respect to décor and ambiance (yes, seating is tight). While the cuisine style is the same as C.M.'s, most of Augustine’s dishes are different. Not surprisingly, well-prepared and delicious. (The cheese soufflé is top-notch!) Even when things are hectic, servers remain friendly and efficient.

This set of Augustine photos includes a shot of the interior.

Edited to add: By the way, excellent detailed review!

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Thanks. Roz! Funny you mention Augustine. It is on my radar and I want to go. We plan to go to the World Trade Center museum and that looks like it’s not far. Looks great!!

Love Cherche Midi especially the unique bathroom.

I’d forgotten about that,then I walked in. So cool!

Can you describe it?

Sure - I’ll try. Two doors - one says Men one women - nothing unusual except for the old fashioned glass paned doors. But walk in either entrance and you end up in the same room - with a very large, old fashioned sink in the middle. The sink is very large and old - a community wash up room. Off of that are two more doors, one men, one women and that is where the toilets are. Everything is very old - very cool


This photo of Cherche Midi is courtesy of TripAdvisor

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Looks like Pastis.

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(((Sigh)))
Pastis really was fantastic for a long time…

Good cocktails and good food, open late. Yeah.

Cherche Midi is a fave. They do a very nice brunch, too: the beignets are a must!

The staff is uniformly excellent. My gf and I ate at the bar one night, and the bartender opened a bottle, poured a little bit out, swirled, sniffed and sipped…she got a sour look on her face. We asked what was the problem, and she said the wine was corked. This was a golden opportunity for us, as neither of us had any experience with a corked bottle, tho we’re both well-familiar with the term. She poured some out to let us smell and taste it [sour and funky] and we got into a great discussion about wine. And then we shared the delicious prime rib and amazing pommes souffles, with a side of mushrooms. Everything was so good, and we had a learning experience!

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@sck - thanks for the extra info up top!

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