I battled through the New York snow for a special friend’s celebratory lunch at a beautiful little French Bistro, Chat Noir. The owner Suzanne Latapie greeted me with welcome smiles as I asked her about her restaurant history that included such fame as La Goulue and Orsay, followed by, and more importantly where she got her burger meat! She explained to me that her creation to the burger world was a careful combination of 80% Chuck and 20% ground short ribs. Hearing this I was immediately excited and my mouth was watering at the chance to try her signature burger called appropriately “the Black Cat Burger”.
Our party was seated along the wall in a comfortable cozy banquette, and I settle in with good friends and was engrossed in interestingly witty conversation as I waited patiently for my impending burger. A variety of orders swarmed the table, expertly executed by a talented kitchen team one of which was my good friend Mike Rendiero who had recently acquired his passion in the garde manger section of the kitchen. His first culinary gift to our table was a very tasty tuna tartar, followed by various orders of Chat Noir’s bistro style menu, including a Mac and cheese that I rate as nothing short of amazing!! With black truffles and creamy white cheddar cheese it left me wanting more as I rudely tasted more than my fill from a friend sitting next to me.
I was clearly starving and couldn’t wait for my burger to arrive, after a short while my wait was over; the Black Cat burger was served to me on a bed of crispy seasoned thinly cut French fries. My first bite was a most welcomed flavor of seasoned meat, which came with a freshness that went down easily, so easy in fact it was over before I had a chance to savor it. “The Black Cat Burger” however was served in one of those buns that kind of broke apart in a few bites, leaving me a partial bun to finish my last morsel. A minor food faux-pais in an overall wonderful dining experience.
I definitely recommend adding the chic Bistro Chat Noir with its friendly staff, vivacious owner and delicious food to your holiday list.