Thursday, June 10, 2004

Cafe Charbon

168 Orchard St. @ Stanton St., 212-420-7520

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Cost per person: $30
"YGWYPF" factor: 7/10 (you get what you pay for)

My flatmates and I decided to check out restaurants this evening. Bleeker and McDougal was way too frequented, east village seemed a little boring. We were just looking for a place to relax on a weekday evening, have good food, not have to pay too much for it, and be able to have conversation at a normal volume. Oscar suggested we go down to Delancey Street, and Jill and I agreed, me without an idea about the locality.

After roaming around the area for a while - in this really awesome its-going-to-rain-soon weather - we decided to go into Cafe Charbon, because the place looked so cool. The ambience is among the most relaxed and cozy ones I've ever been to in NYC. To get in, you have to go through the entrance around the corner, and walk through the bar to the restaurant. The restaurant looks a lot like a hip grocery store, with jars and bottles all along the walls, and really soothing lighting all around (a little on the low side). Service is warm and friendly. Though the food is not the fastest in town, it's a cozy place to chill out and have a nice conversation.

We ordered the Calamari for starters. Oscar and I tried the crispy salmon, and Jill went for the Tortilenni. Food was excellent - the salmon was cooked to mouth watering perfection. With a glass of wine each, the total with tips came to $90, or $30 a head. A bit on the pricey side, but it made a thoroughly enjoyable evening.


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