(First let me say I misspelled the restaurant as Pantine in another post.. Sorry!)
For the last 3-4 weeks there has been a little activity at the old Alloutte space at 4th and Bainbridge (well it was two bars - last one was Reds), but most folks think of it as the 2nd home of Alloutte.
No sign that said it was open and no menu. Then last week I heard it was and sign in window said "open 6p. Closed Sunday and Monday.
So last night we thought we'd try it having no idea what to expect.
We arrived at 6:30 and we were first persons there. By the time we left at 8pm there were 2 more couples and a party of 4. It is BYOB. The owner is in the medical profession (I think medical supplies) and moved down from Albany NY with the chef (unrelated) who she says has 50 years experience in 4 New York (meaning State) french restaurants.
We were given the small menu. 6 appetizers (out of one) and 5 entrees. Three appetizers were salads - Green Salad (they names were in French but I'll translate), a Lentil Salad - both $5.00 and a beef salad ($6.00) as well as an Onion tart. We had the Lentil and Green Salads. Lentil was interesying. Green was just lettuce.
For Entrees there was fish of day. (Orange Roughy), Beef Borgongone (I can't spell.. sorry!) both $15.00, State and Frites ($19.00) and Moules (I think $18.00). We both ordered the Beef and it came on plate with white rice. Not very substantial and no vegetable. We passed on the desserts ($6.00 for chocolate mouse or bread pudding or strawberries with creme anglaise).
For those who remember the place, the large bar is gone. They have repainted the room to look rustic and country french. My dining partner thought it was atmospheric with the large windows. I thought a bit understated.
They do not take credit cards " We take Personal Checks and there is an ATM across the street" I was informed. Obviously last night there was no noise level problem.
I was told that they are "packed on weekends already" but not busy Tues-Thurs. I suggested that maybe a menu on the window would help. She - the owner, who manned the front with the one waiter - said that she hadn't decided how to do that yet. I think it's important to know what is being served inside (IMHO).
So, for my taste, the beef was a good beef stew and the lettuce was fresh but for the $25.00/per person (including tax and tip and no beverage - except for the BYO wine) I was still hungry and there weren't that many other choices on the menu to return for.
I'll be interested in hearing comments from others who have ventured there. I'd love to see it succeed in that location. I just think there are some missteps that need tweaking. For that money I'll be at the place I'm not allowed to mention here anymore , which is just 2 blocks away.
By the way, the new Crawdaddy's at the next corener (5th and Bainbridge) is really starting off slow. It's nearly always empty. (Could be the pre-opening signs which warned.. "NO JEANS..Proper Dress required" and the fact that it's mostly a bar with no real non smoking area. Since the ORIGINAL Pompano Grille became South Beach and later the pricey Middle Eastern Restaurant, the successive owners have plowed lots of money into the building and NO customers came!
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