Location: 226 3rd Avenue
Cuisine: French Country
Best Dish: We can not say enough good things about the Grilled Dorade. It was exquisitely prepared and presented.
Overall: Anisette is a small intimate eatery that is ideal for date night. Though it is relaxed enough to enjoy with friends the candle light and atmosphere are perfect for an impressive first date.
French provencal cuisine is characterized by its simplicity and rustic nature. Its flavors have not been coaxed by rich sauces and complex reductions it is a more simplistic style of French cuisine that combines seasonal ingredients with basic techniques. Anisette brings this homestyle cuisine to New York’s eastside in a pleasant bistro and wine bar. The space is cozy and quaint with a warm interior and seasonal outdoor seating. We entered the space on a weeknight and found it lively and packed with regulars. After just a few moments and a quick talk with our friendly server, we ordered a bountiful feast of French fare.
We started our meal with the Chicken Liver Pot. For this starter, the chicken livers are reduced to a creamy mousse and served with a drizzle of olive oil, warm crostini, and cornichon.
We also enjoyed a selection of French Pinot Noir from the extensive wine menu and a specialty cocktail with our first course. The fragrant cocktail known as the “Green Hornet” is made with Ketel Citron, Green Chartreuse, Lemon, and Cane Sugar.
For our next course, we wanted something light to offset the rich Chicken Liver Pot. We went with a lightly dressed salad. The Frisée salad features crisp frisée tossed with toasted lardon and a balsamic vinaigrette topped with a poached egg.
For our next course, we chose a familiar comfort food. When we saw Macaroni Au Gratin (French Mac & Cheese) on the menu we couldn’t resist, and it did not disappoint. The french are known for their cheeses and their creamy sauces and this pasta dish was a great example. It was cheesy and creamy served piping hot and garnished with a dusting of buttery bread crumbs.
For a hearty dish that will fill you up but not leave you overfull, we highly recommend the Crispy Duck Leg. The duck is tender and succulent served with a paleo friendly and satisfying, side of lentils, lamb sausage and mushrooms.
Short Ribs are one of our favorite proteins. Anisette makes them perfectly with just a light coating of Au jus, served on a bed of soft farro, mushrooms and summer vegetables.
We thoroughly enjoyed every bite we were served at Anisette but the Whole Grilled Dorade was our absolute favorite plate. The Whole Grilled Dorade is made for sharing. The fish is pretty big and maybe too much to tackle alone, although we could understand if you tried. It is simply delicious. The skin is grilled to perfection and the flesh is soft and flavorful. The Dorade is a bass with a clean fresh flavor and tender white flesh. The fish is served with a choice of side and we recommend the braised kale. It wasn’t like any kale we’ve ever had, the taste was similar to southern collard greens, completely devoid of the grassy bitterness we usually associate with kale.
French cuisines have long be heralded as an expensive treat for the wealthy. Anisette makes French food accessible with its simple well-crafted menu and relaxed atmosphere. Anisette is a great place to explore Country French Cuisines in a casual friendly bistro. In addition to the delicious food, the staff is warm, hospitable and eager to assist you in selecting the perfect meal for your tastes. Each staff member is well versed in pairings and knowledgeable of the menu so whether you’re embarking on a new foodie journey or a seasoned vet you are in good hands with Anisette.
Anisette is located at 226 3rd Avenue in Gramercy Park NYC. Find them on the web: www.anisettenyc.com.