Sunday Night, January 31st–So I thought that we would try out a place recommended by a former teaching colleague of mine. I went online of course, while at school to check it out.
I was afraid that the place would look like the picture. The small pic I saw made it appear like I was walking into a plain, tall walled kitchen in someones farm-house, simple but modern farmhouse. So I was vacillating between there and the Tribeca Grill. I finally met up with my other half and we proceeded to go. So after I got yelled and the silent but abrupt treatment we made our way to Petite Abielle. On the way I remembered that I had made a reservation at the Tribeca Grill (the snooty guy was like, well we are somewhat booked, blah, blah) so I made a reservation. Being one of etiquette I wanted to call to cancel but then I quickly changed my mind as it was about that time I would have sat down to eat there, and I was pulling up to Petite Abielle (PA) and realized I did not called ahead either. So I called and as we passed the front door I told them I would be there in about 10 minutes (more like 3).
They had heavy curtains as you entered–dark magician like ones. You felt like you were entering Cirque Du Soleil. I think it may have been to kill the draft. New York has been frigid some days. So it is a long sort of place with booths on both sides down the middle and on the street facing wall, double tables. We sat in the back and we could view the kitchen if we liked but the divider was high enough. To the back of us was the gelato stand. Why did I have to see that! I immediately started planning my strategy for eating.
The waiter had a thick accent, almost like he had a moth full of thick peanut butter. His words came out sounding fancy but you could barely understand what he was saying–we did fortunately as we are super patient. He spoke so softly yet you could see he was struggling to speak. I could hear the music over him-cool eighties classics.
We began with some beer. Mine was slightly sweetened, like a stout. For an appetizer we had three cheese croquettes, with a side of mixed greens. YUMMY in our tummies. For dinner I ordered the chicken stew (Vol Au Vent) with tiny what we think was onions and fries. The chx stew has a top like a well done chix pot pie, but in a square, which was cool. That was about as fancy as it got. The stew was okay. On a scale from 1-10, it was a 5. It was just average. The sauce was semi-thick but no real strong flavor. It was not even creamy tasting-like a buttery milk taste :). (whatever that is) So my other half was struggling with his NY Strip Steak and fries, w/a side order of Ratatouille. The steak was particularly trying.
I had stopped eating about 1/2 way through, or maybe 3/5 of the way. I wanted dessert. I had seen two chicks with a waffle. My waffle dream is a crispy golden waffle with some flavoring, topped with fudge, strawberries, chopped pecans or walnuts and a scoop of frozen yogurt-whatever is available some times. Well that was not on the menu so I was kind of disappointed. So we took our food to go and I ordered Tart Tatin–a warm caramelized apple tart. Actually it tasted like a super light pastry, with chunky apple sauce on top. I was not sure what the caramelized part was about–still waiting to experience it. It was warm and we had a scoop of pistachio gelato. It was good. It was not super sweet. I would say on a scale of 1-10, I give it about a 5.7 almost 6. I think it was the softness, like a dainty woman that I will remember.
So we had left overs on Monday. Some people I know abhor left overs. (so they say) They feel that the food is not good or the same. !!Spoken like a true first world-er.!! So actually, when food is eaten the second time around (some), the seasons and juices have had a chance to sink in and really flavor the food. If you agree with me let me know. I mean the same applies when people marinate overnight, right. Share your comments below. I check daily.
As for the strip steak–the second day goodness did not exist. I had a piece and felt like I was eating raw tasting food, though it was fully cooked. (that could be it too, but that is one of the reasons I don’t eat steak) We scarfed the rest of the food with some coleslaw made from cabbage in class and some tartar sauce from home. We also ate the veggies we cooked in class.
The PA I went to was on 20th street. Maybe the other one on West Broadway may be better.
If you go, let me know so I can go try. Also if you know of any other Belgian places, let us all know.
Cheers and enjoy life!