Ooh La La…French Inspired Tuesday…


I rode by bike downtown to work up an appetite for Gabe Stulman’s new Chelsea restaurant, located a bit outside his west village comfort zone. Ever since getting married, Gabe has given birth to a plethora of restaurants. The love story started with Joseph Leonard and has since multiplied to include Jeffrey’s, Fedora, Chez Sardine, Montmatre and the crown jewel, Perla.

Little Wisco, Gabe Stulman’s mini restaurant empire was created in a mere 5 years. In 2006, prior to the creation of Little Wisco restaurant group, he opened his first venture in NYC, the ever popular Little Owl with chef, Joey Campanaro. Next up, Market Table and then the partnership soured.

Monmatre is a collaboration with former Ma Peche chef, Tien Ho, and the end result is a Asian influence french bistro. The initial offerings did not insight excitement so they tweaked the menu and made it less traditionally french. The new menu has hit the mark.

I rode up 8th Avenue with anticipation and parked my bike at 18th Street in front of a charming little store front. I requested the patio and was led through a small, upfront bar and cluster of tables and booths, down a flight of stairs, up some more and finally entered an adorable outdoor area, replete with a bar and smattering of tables.

patio montmatre
Montmatre Patio

I plunked down at the bar and watched as the busy bartender, Matt, churned out exotic, but tidy looking cocktails.


Bienvenue a Montmatre. This is the perfect place for weekend brunch on a beautiful day. Although, I am sure that on a cold and blustery weekend, you can feel perfectly comfortable shoehorned into the charming interior.

The bartender, a NYU grad and aspiring actor, was very helpful in taking me by the hand and sorting through the menu.

Since I biked down, I decided against the chicken and biscuit ($15) which  is definitely for sharing, the hamburger and fries, fried oyster omelette with shiro dashi, scallions and sesame ($15) and picked a healthy option…Brook Trout Nicoise. The salad abounded with haricot verts, potato, hard-boiled egg and olives, dressed in a light vinaigrette. ($16) The fish was sauteed to perfection with the crispy skin on.

brook trout
Brook Trout Nicoise

Other selections surrounding me were Le Burger ($14) topped with Camembert and peppercorn mayo and garnished with crispy pommes frites. The couple at the bar, who looked as exciting as the act of standing in line at McDonald’s, chose the Hong Kong style french toast with peanut butter, strawberry jam and condensed milk ($15).

The guy next to me ordered a “Drink In Paris” with Compari and Prosecco ($13). If I wasn’t driving (bike) and was a girlie drink drinker, I was tempted to consume the “Basement Dancing” with mango vodka, coconut, orange, lime and ginger beer with a funky fresh booty shake!

drink montmatre
Drink In Paris

Next time around, I must dive into the escargot toast ($9) with garlic, mushrooms and pickled shallots. At dinner, rumor has it that the chef inspired Franco-Vietnamese creation called, pot-au-pho ($44 for 2) is the item to order. It is presented in a bowl brimming with braised short ribs and shreds of rosy sirloin, all slowly cooked with star anise, scallions and coriander in a fragrant oxtail broth.

The desserts looked fab, including a blueberry cake with candied pecans and mini creme fraiche, Yuzu custard with caramel tuile and berries and mille-feuille mousse with cherry compote…all for $10 each…cheese selections are $7.

During the course of my meal, a charming, erudite, woman plunked down next to me for a glass of vino before her all-consuming haircut appointment. I enjoyed her energy and shared love of food, She imbibed and did not consume. Only in Manhattan can 2 women enjoy a conversation, exchange emails and decide to try yet another new addition to NYC’s culinary menagerie. We have plans to hit the new, hip, Charlie Bird next week.

view up montmatre
View Up In Montmatre Patio

Au revoir…until we eat again.

Montmatre is located at 158 8th Avenue, NYC. Opened daily 11:30am to 3pm for lunch, dinner is served Sunday-Wednesday from 5:30 to 11pm and Thursday-Saturday 5:30-1am. Brunch is served on the weekend’s. www.montmatrenyc.com

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