For as long as I can remember, obsessing over where to dine has been my thing. I’m known for it. It’s what led me to write this blog. Imagine then, how much time I spend deliberating over where to celebrate my birthday. A big birthday. In Manhattan. I consider making a case to my husband that this particular birthday should mean ditching any regard for cost. After scouring reviews on multiple websites I come to my senses, content with my selection of the relatively affordable Bâtard in Tribeca.
It’s hard to argue against Bâtard, which has recently been honored with a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country. When you consider that a three-course prix fixe meal is $69 (2 courses are available for $55, and 4 courses for $79), dining here is a no-brainer.
Bâtard’s menu is defined as modern European, but it’s really all over the map with dishes like hamachi and roasted Amish chicken. The bustling dining room is casual and sparse, with a touch of elegance in the pale golden wallpaper flecked with twigs and acorns. My husband remarks on the lack of artwork, but I find the simple decor a perfect backdrop for Chef Markus Glocker’s picturesque food.
Bâtard is an “oh wow” food experience. Every dish is carefully orchestrated to demonstrate the chef’s skill in coaxing out the beauty and flavor of the ingredients. Burrata makes an appearance at nearly every restaurant I’ve visited recently, and I haven’t failed once to order it. Bâtard’s burrata is accompanied by a wonderfully delicate English pea tortellini, pesto, and a dusting of caraway. Burrata is an accent rather than a main ingredient in the dish, and it’s perfectly placed.
Ora King salmon is impeccable. The seared fish is paired with roasted sunchokes and orange slices, with a hint of maple adding sweetness and flair.
A crisp-skinned branzino with artichokes, romano beans, and tarragon coulis delights with flavors that are complex and distinctive.
Coffee and milk “kardinal” french meringue with milk jam is light and airy, providing a fitting ending to the meticulous meal.
There seems to be no consensus regarding the source of Bâtard’s name. Is it the inspiration of a winery in Burgundy or an illegitimate child? It’s a mystery to me, but Bâtard is certainly the real deal. It’s easy to spend far more than $69 for a three course dinner, particularly in Manhattan. Given the high quality of the food, I conclude that my laborious research has really paid off.
Bâtard, 239 West Broadway, NY, NY
New York Times review by Pete Wells: “Expressing Himself with Joy”
Eater review by Ryan Sutton: “Affordable Bâtard Marks Another Win for King of Tribeca”