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“Bar Breton”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out French Flatiron Moderate Good

Fleur de Sel is one of those under the radar gems that I’ve never felt has gotten the props it deserves. Run by chef/owner Cyril Renaud, it’s a precious little Michelin-starred jewel box on a rather sleepy block of 20th Street that’s one of my favorite spots for an intimate and luxurious meal. But times are not exactly primed for luxury at the moment, and while I certainly hope that the economy ricochets back into gear, for now restaurants peddling elegant haute cuisine are not exactly on my (or probably your) go-to list.

Which is why I was quite pleased to learn that Renaud had decided to open a more casual restaurant, a Flatiron area spot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, dedicated to his native cuisine of Brittany called Bar Breton. Not only was I intrigued by a restaurant dedicated to this region’s cuisine, but I was also impressed with the fact that despite the hard times we are all going through, Renaud opened Bar Breton with a mission of giving. Every year he will donate five percent of Bar Breton's annual profits to a different charity, starting this year with Citymeals-on-Wheels. Nice.

And the warmth of that spirit of giving is evident in the restaurant as well. Bar Breton glows with soft golden light through the glass façade onto the street. Water glasses painted with swirls of cherry red give the room an immediate sense of joy and whimsy. The bar, a long stretch of wood matched with Windsor bar stools built by George Ainley (a Vermont woodworker), had a nice crowd of twosomes catching up after work—men with ties loosened, women with feet dangling out of their heels. You’ll find the bar topped with something very unusual: ceramic coffee cups. I was perplexed. Where were the wine glasses? Was everyone on the wagon? Not quite. While wine is served here (50 whites and 50 reds from around the world, and some nicely priced ones, too), the more unique draw is the list of French farmhouse ciders, which are served as they are in Brittany, in white ceramic coffee cups. The list includes East Coast and Breton apple ciders such as Farnum Hill Farm (New Hampshire), West County Cider (Massachusetts), and a "Sidre Brut" from Eric Bordelet, a French producer of Breton cider, which I particularly liked. It’s lightly alcoholic (only 4%) and just slightly sweet and tart, balanced with a bit of hops.

Beyond the bar, you’ll find the dining room lit by carved w ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Flatiron :
+ Suenos   + Amuse-- Closed   + Dos Caminos   + Lucy-- Closed   + Gramercy Taver   + Veritas   + Fleur De Sel   + Bolo -- CLosed   + City Bakery   + Shake Shack   + Kalustyan's Cafe   + Devi   + BLT Fish   + Sugarcane   + BLT Prime   + Barca 18-- CLOSED   + Beppe   + Barbounia   + Boqueria   + Eleven Madison   + Lonesome Dove-- CLOSED   + Hill Country   + Olana   + Wildwood   + Primehouse   + Allegretti   + Bar Breton   + Aldea   + SD26 by Bao Ong   + ABC Kitchen   + Ciano   + The NoMad   

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