Buvette - French Charm in the West Village

 French style charm and an upbeat vibe abound here.

French style charm and an upbeat vibe abound here.

A couple of years ago a friend and I stopped in at this lovely little restaurant after attending a wine tasting nearby. It was the late afternoon, too early for dinner and too late for lunch, but never the wrong time for a snack!  My friend ordered a beer and I (always hungry!) ordered grilled octopus. We had a delightful time sitting at the beautiful white marble bar, catching up with each other and saying hello to other friends who had also made their way to this cozy haven on Grove St in the West Village.  Afterwards, I made a mental note to myself that I must make my way back for a full meal.  I finally returned to Buvette last week with a friend for lunch.  And what a lunch it was!  The food here is rather simple French bistro cooking with Italian accents, but every dish we ordered was just bursting with flavor!  We started with the steak tartare, served with grilled slices of crusty bread sprinkled with a delicious olive oil.  Alongside the steak we enjoyed carrots julienned with fresh cilantro and dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette.  All the flavors were so bright and fresh and left us wanting more.  We then shared a garlicky chicken salad as well as the "Cr'q Madame", a sunny-side egg on toasted bread, covered with oozing gruyere cheese.  We ended the meal with a delicious, perfectly caramelized slice of tarte tatin and some strong coffee. This is the type of place you can settle in with friends for the morning (or the afternoon or the evening!) and drink some coffee, sip some wine, eat some comfort food and feel like you've crossed the Atlantic and are sitting at a cafe on the left bank of the Seine.  What to drink here?  I had a French lager beer from the selection on tap but there are also cocktails and an all-French wine list with some interesting bottles at decent prices.  Do yourself a favor and go to Buvette.  Bon appetit!! 

 Steak tartare went perfectly with a French lager beer.   The raw steak, dusted with freshly cracked black pepper, was on grilled bread on top of a bed of Boston lettuce tossed with a flavorful vinaigrette.

Steak tartare went perfectly with a French lager beer.   The raw steak, dusted with freshly cracked black pepper, was on grilled bread on top of a bed of Boston lettuce tossed with a flavorful vinaigrette.

 Cheesy Cr'q Madame, topped with a slice of prosciutto, some grated parmesan and a couple pieces of deliciously pungent fried sage hidden underneath the egg.

Cheesy Cr'q Madame, topped with a slice of prosciutto, some grated parmesan and a couple pieces of deliciously pungent fried sage hidden underneath the egg.

 The tarte tatin had perfectly caramelized apples.

The tarte tatin had perfectly caramelized apples.