JB, his mom and I have a thing for Jacques. Amidst the throngs on 86th street and the idiot bars on 2nd Ave, Jacques is a charming French bistro hidden on 85th street near 3rd.
This was a our fourth time there. The third time was definitely the charm. JB's mom threw a party for us in honor of our engagement. They gave us the back room and a simple, but delicious prix-fixe of chicken, trout or hangar steak.
I had booked the reservation on opentable.com (another fave site) and JB's mom was greeted by name by the manager. I immediately thought this was a good sign. I envisioned champagne on the house for the newlyweds or at least an amuse-bouche. Nothing at all. In fact, that was the last time he spoke to us all evening.
Notwithstanding, our server was sincere and helpful. Remembering our party in November, I leapt for the hangar steak as did my mother-in-law. JB opted for the mussels & frites in a provencale sauce.
To start we shared tuna tartar and bluepoint oysters. Not your typical bistro starters, but they were adequate. The crackers did nothing for the tuna they accompanied, but the fish was good. The bluepoints went fast, I did not opt for a bite.
JB demolished his mussels & frites. The only complaint here was that there was no bowl for his discarded shells which created a minor mess. The steak was OK. I think they changed it since our last visit. I ate it all, but again, had ordering remorse.
JB lectured me that I should have ordered the roast chicken for multitude of reasons. Always good, better for you, less cholesterol -- blah, blah, blah. Next time I'll consider listening to him.
We ended on a high note of tarte tatin. Personally, I like to order it because I like to say it with my 8th grade French teacher accent, "tarte tatin". But it was good. Vanilla ice cream, cinnamon sugar, caramel and then the apples. It vanished as soon as it hit the table.
I'm not sure if there will be a fifth time. As you can tell, they sort of left us strapped. Like but not love.
Until we eat again, KLB