Friday, April 24, 2009

cafe cluny

So for lunch today, two co-workers and I decided to skip on out of Chelsea Market and down the street to the West Village's Cafe Cluny. An adorable little French spot that's been on my radar for quite some time now with the decor that'll have you stripping all of the wood finishes in your home to look distressed and right on to the next nonstop plane to Paris to start rummaging through the flea markets.

Gosh, I didn't even need to go to Cafe Cluny for that feeling to trigger.

Anyways, lunch was absolutely lovely. Fantastic company and straightforward French Bistro food done right.

In my attempt to keep on track with this weeks "smart" eating decisions plan, I decided to go with the salmon tartare. The sight of it on the menu almost caused my lip to tremble as I literally used to live off of it as well as warm goat cheese salads (chèvre chaud) everyday of the week while living abroad in Paris. Aaand there we have it. Starting to get emotional.

Let's just take a look at it.

Beautiful, right? Now the portion size, for $14, is extremely petite. So petite, in fact, that I'm sure that by 4:00 I'm going to be rummaging around for something to fill my stomach. However, it was perfectly done. Organic wild salmon, studded with chives, lemon juice, and olive oil, and garnished with a small dollop sheep's milk yogurt and a few microgreens and served with a few beet chips. I really can't think of any other word to describe it other than lovely. It was really, really, really lovely.

We decided to go on to split two desserts, and me not having much of a sweet tooth didn't think anything of it until macerated berries with a marscarpone cream was placed down in front of us. What better day to eat this than today. Sun bursting through the open windows, the scent of spring basically shoving itself in our faces, the berries were at their prime and the marscarpone cream was whipped until it was ready to float off the plate, flavored with a heavy hand of vanilla and a sprinkle of sugar. Divine, really. The second dessert was a chocolate torte, that, quite frankly, kicked my not-that-into-chocolate butt. Holy chocolate this thing was beyond rich. My lunch companions, however, thought it was quite the treat.

This is a restaurant I undoubtedly plan on coming back to. A perfect date spot. Sigh. It's intimate without being overwhelmingly romantic and the food is simple but absolutely speaks for itself. And I mean, really, what more could you ask for?

Cafe Cluny
284 W12th St.

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