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Outer Boroughs Staten Island

Le Pain D'epices - Staten Island

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Le Pain D'epices - Staten Island

JOHN C | Sep 23, 2002 02:44 PM

Saturday night a few friends and I stumbled upon this restaurant while spending the evening in St. George. It's a tiny little place on Stuyvesant St. I think btw Schuyler and Wall (sorry, my SI geography isn't so great.) The food is French-Caribbean. Seven of us walked in around 7 p.m. and the place was nearly empty. We asked if we could sit outside, but as it turned out the woman behind the counter spoke only some sort of Caribbean french dialect. We were asked to wait. A few minutes later, her sister arrived and we began what would be two hours of absolutely baffling service and incredible, incredible food.

As far as I could tell, the restaurant was run by just these two women, and they must do the majority of their business as take-out. By any New York standard, the service was worse than awful (e.g. they waited a full hour and a half to tell one of us that they were out of the dish she ordered.) However, alongside the way the food was prepared and its quality, the confused service almost started to become endearing. When I poked my head into the place to see about getting two glasses of the wine they told us about, I could see into the kitchen, and I swear it was just two hot plates and these women were making every single ingredient of every dish from scratch. No wonder it took them over an hour to arrive with 3 of our entrees (no dressing for the salads,) and another 30 minutes to produce two more (after the "we don't have any more vegetable plate" incident.)

BUT -

It was worth it, I swear. Most of us ordered varieties of stews, I had cous cous with creamy chicken / mushrooms which was amazing. The crepes we had for dessert were incredible and might, MIGHT have cost $3. The women were very charming and gracious, and I've heard that they are actually the bakery that supplies goods to Bathazar. Has anyone heard of this place? Does it have a reputation or is it new? I honestly think I might take the ferry all the way over there just to be mis-served by them again.

The bill for seven of us.....$63.

Did we just get lucky or is this a not-so-hidden New York gem?

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