Bar Artisanal: A Big Brunch on a Budget


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Two things in life that I adore: A good brunch and a good deal.

And I like them all the better if I’m able to combine the two. 

Bar Artisanal in Tribeca? It delivers on both fronts.

The restaurant has gotten some mixed reviews since Terrance Brennan (of Artisanal and Picholine) opened the place in late April — Serious Eats raved about the lamb chops and lamb burger (“a flavor knockout punch”) while the New York Times’ Frank Bruni picked apart the “overpopulated” duck pissaladi√®re (a French pizza) featuring duck liver, gizzard, confit and a duck egg.

But when it comes to brunch, the verdict is a little clearer — the menu is simpler, the food is perfectly decent. And the prices, well, they just can’t be beat, considering what you’re getting.

At $21 for two courses (which could include two main courses) and dessert, you could make off with a $40 meal for about half the price.

Which, suffice to say, is a pretty darn good deal in Manhattan.

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Joseph Leonard: A Salty Start


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Joseph Leonard is one of those restaurants that might have you thinking, “Recession? What recession?”

On the first night that the little West Village restaurant started serving dinner, it was so packed that finding a spot to perch for a drink was a challenge, much less a table for four. And this was well after 9 p.m. on a weeknight.

But this level of interest in a place so new it had a dessert menu to tempt diners but weren’t actually equipped to serve dessert yet is unsurprising.

New York food folks have been working themselves up into a big froth over Joseph Leonard, after all, since Gabriel Stulman, a former owner of the much-beloved Little Owl and Market Table in the West Village, announced he was opening a new restaurant. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that Vogue.com did a “People Are Talking About” item about the carefully planned grandma’s garage sale meets farmhouse rustic decor of the place more than a month before it opened.

While I’m generally skeptical of this level of pre-opening hype, I have a great deal of respect and fondness for Little Owl and Market Table.

And, Joseph Leonard (named for Stulman’s two grandfathers), with its cozy setting and equally comforting lineup of dishes, is likely to please many — especially those who love salt, which chef Jim McDuffee (formerly of Bouchon Bakery) seems to be rather fond of.

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