239 West Broadway will be a familiar address to those who know their restaurants as it has hosted a number of seminal establishments—and Drew Nieporent’s Bâtard is no exception. The space is comfortable and streamlined, while the atmosphere feels grown-up and animated. When it comes to service, the well-appointed and smiling brigade glide about the dining room seamlessly. But really, everyone comes here for the food—and that food has been very good indeed.
The cooking has been precise and accomplished, with dishes that look quite delicate on the plate. But like a good featherweight they pack more of a punch than one may expect. On one occasion, an umami-rich broth arrived with beautifully shaped caramelle stuffed with shallots, herbs, and morels. Arctic char, which was gently laid over a pool of caramelized onion soubise and accompanied by deep-fried asparagus, was another worthy consideration.
Completing the skills of this adept kitchen were such unexpected seasonal treats as an English pea parfait with rhubarb consommé and white asparagus. Even savory palates will find it hard to resist the apple tart with camembert, as well as the passion fruit parfait with lemongrass-compressed pineapple.