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Restaurants & Bars 5

BXL Cafe

Jim Leff | May 3, 2006 05:57 PM

Unless I've missed it, we've had only a little talk about BXL Cafe 125 W 43rd St, 768-0200.

Great service, great wacky Belgian ambiance, wonderful mussels and carbonade and frites and top-notch beers. Great prices. Great pre-theater special. Why are hounds not ecstatic about this? Yes, I come into this a staunch lover of all things Belgian (as you should be too...any country excelling at mussels, chocolate, french fries, and beer is our kind of country!). As a Belgophile, I find it an answer to prayer.

The food's not quite great, but it's authentic, good, and good-vibed. The mussels were immaculately fresh, and the mariniere (sp?) sauce was properly subtle. The carbonade might be seen as gloppy, but to me it was soulful gloppiness and not without subtle charms. Frites are very good, not quite world class, but they made me happy. And the waiters and bartenders were like real people, totally friendly and genuine and unjaded.

And this is in freaking Times Square! It's a miracle!

No idea how the less Belgian dishes taste. I may have ordered real well (I'm on a roll lately).

Don't miss Pierre Celis' new ale, a strong creamy dark one, on tap.

ciao

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