New York: a bit of the French countryside brunch at Claudette
In a city that's buzzing full of tourists and the rushed life, finding places that can offer that downtempo familial Sunday-like feeling can be hard. Thanks to Carlos Suarez and Mark Barak, we can find all that (and then some!) at Claudette, a Provencal restaurant in the heart of Greenwich Village just moments away from Washington Square Park.
As you enter Claudette and go past the welcome curtain, a scene reminiscent of the French summer strikes you. White-washed pillows on the rattan furniture, a compact white bar stacked with booze and shelves all around decorated with Moroccan artefacts and literature books, all making for a perfect comfortable setting. Assuming you'd by now have a brunch reservation you're greeted by the friendly staff that on a summer day are happy to help you with a table outside - New York can be a real treat when the sun is out!
Chef Ari Bokovza’s menu at Claudette focuses on local produce, seafood and North African aromatics found in the Provençal kitchen. Eggs Shakshuka immediately catch my eye as I skim through the colorful menu and just about when I start feeling guilty of the heavy entreé, I follow up with some Greek yoghurt, granola and fruit to balance things out.
Tasty as my dishes are, the real surprise is the dish of French toast - simple right? Not exactly. The bread is exactly as thick as it should be, moist by the high temperatures of the frying pan and the egg, covered in thick honey and sprinkled with a few strawberries, banana slices and some crunchy pecan nuts! Definitely a must-have again and again.