Former Bagatelle partner Angelo Peruzzi opened up La Villette about three months ago, just in time to be hit by Hurricane Sandy. Now, the French brasserie has gotten into the swing of things and is kicking off their new lunch menu this week. The goal, said Peruzzi, is to bring the café culture to the corner of Downing and 6th Avenue, which once housed the restaurant 10 Downing. After Peruzzi took over this past summer, he tapped into his carpentry knowledge and gutted the place to create a café and brasserie in the classic French style.
Now, the space sports antiqued mirrors welded together to create a modern-meets-old wall piece, burgundy banquettes, and a pewter bar made from one solid piece by an artist from Seattle. The now exposed floor-to-ceiling windows are also a nice addition, and let in plenty of daylight for La Villette’s new lunch, and soon-to-be breakfast service.
As far as the new midday menu is concerned, chef Christophe Bonnegrace has concocted a $19 prix fixe that includes coffee, your choice of appetizers like the house vegetable soup, salad, or the soup de jour, and an entrée. On a cold winter day, we chose to warm the belly with their hearty coq au vin and the piping hot hachis parmentier, otherwise known as French shepherd’s pie.
They also offer a $12 sandwich menu with classic options including croque monsieur or madame, jambon beurre cornichon (ham, butter, and pickles), and tomato with mozzarella. Each creation is served on a baguette made from dough they import from Paris and bake in house. For those of you who can take a nap after lunch, the chef’s burger for $16 is a decedent option, as its lamb and beef patty comes with your choice of cheese and topped with foie gras. Bon appétit indeed.