The Union Square Hospitality Group is hosting a pop-up French restaurant called “Bistro du Nord” in the North End Grill space throughout January. This is the group of restaurants headed up by chef Danny Meyer, who recently went “no tip” and “service included” in the menu pricing of all his joints. Even the coat check is included! But the prices… for a tip-included place, they were amazing. I was expecting some inflated numbers, but to me, they all looked like what you’d see at any other restaurant.
I was invited in by the group to sample some of the delicious items that chef Eric Korsh is featuring on this limited run menu (though some items may still be available after the pop-up is finished). He’s the chef there at North End Grill, even when there is no pop-up going on, so you can expect the same level of execution and awesomeness if you happen to miss the pop-up.
So let me get down to it, because we tried a lot of good stuff.
Duck egg en meurette.
If you’re like me, and have no idea what some French culinary terms mean, then I will explain. “En meurette” basically means that the duck egg is served in a red wine reduction, like a bourguignon or meat gravy type sauce. The egg here was nicely poached and served with mushrooms and black truffles.
Roasted oysters with spinach and bacon.
I believe some cheese was involved as well. These were beautiful and fantastic.
Escargot with garlic and parsley butter.
Really nice in the little skillet, and already plucked from the shell, so no work is involved.
This was essentially a nice, light, airy flatbread – almost like zaatar, but less aggressive with the spice.
French onion soup with bone marrow.
Beautiful. This one was topped with a piece of toast and melty gruyere, but that bone marrow in the middle was just absolutely awesome.
Now for the entrees.
I was a little skeptical of a steamed fish item, but this was so tasty. I even remarked that it reminded me of something Scandinavian, perhaps because of the presence of dill and a thickened broth sauce.
Crispy skate wing – my apologies for not getting a picture. This fish was so light yet flavorful that it threw me off guard. The crisp on the outside of the fish was so awesome.
Super crispy outside skin and perfect tenderness within. The cabbage wrap was filled with more succulent, tender meat as well as some fois gras and parsley root. Very elegant.
What a refreshing improvement from the last cassoulet my wife and I had at The House. This one had the meat on full display: pork belly and a duck leg. With trotter and white beans in the dish, this was a nice and hearty dish, but it didn’t seem heavy at all.
NY strip steak au poivre.
I had the kitchen slice this for us so it was easier to share. This was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the peppery sauce really complimented the prime beef. The chef trimmed off any gristle from the sides, and the quality of the cut was top notch. It was lean but very flavorful, and the texture was incredibly tender. 9/10.
On the side we had some wood grilled fennel, which was really nice and helped us digest. We also had some fries, as they came with the steak. They had a perfect crisp and were nicely seasoned.
There’s always room for dessert.
Apple and huckleberry galette.
This was right up my alley. Sweetness with a little bit of tartness, and then warm mixed with cold ice cream. Perfection.
Perfect execution on this, and the chocolate was rich and decadent without being overpowering or overly sweet.
I loved this. The one here was apple and hazelnut cream flavored. It was light and airy, soft yet crisp. I could easily inhale a few of these.
I think that about does it. Get your asses down here and try some of this delicious French fare while the pop-up lasts!
NORTH END GRILL
104 North End Ave
New York, NY 10282