Frederisk Lesort's new AvroKo designed Tribeca restaurant Plein Sud officially opened in its full capacity yesterday. But the spot, serving chef Ed Cotton's take on classic South of France cuisine, has been quietly open for well over a week, giving plenty of bloggers, tipsters, and Foursquare users the chance to check in and file a response. The liquor license won't arrive for another couple of weeks, but it sounds like accommodations are being made in the lobby and in the hotel's bar. Regardless, the food may be good enough to make up for a mostly dry evening.
The Mostly Excellent News: A note from the tipline: "I've eaten there three times. Twice during their Friends and Family week, and once since their doors have been open to the public. The menu has been pared down/tweaked/refined considerably since Friends and Family. Chicken liver appetizer is excellently rich, and the beet salad was perfectly dressed and portioned. The skate wing is delicate, yet robust, with tiny supremes of lemon which add a nice zip. Salmon is well conceived, and very well executed. The pasta with spring vegetables (english peas, morels, asparagus) and cream sauce was nearly perfect. Delicate fresh, smooth pasta, tender vegetables still with a bite, delicious cream sauce. The cream sauce could have been thinned a tiny bit for my liking. Overall, excellent meals.
The french fries, at least during Friends and Family, were terrible. I swear to god they must be frozen. Hopefully they'll get on that." [Eater Tipline]
The 'It's Obviously Not Ready Yet' News: From the tipline: "It is pretty in a sparkly sort of way, but very much in preview (the menu is stamped "preview"). No sign of the advertised plats du jour yet, but otherwise a full menu. They were caught out by the steam bath weather last night, and apologizing for the absence of air conditioning. Worse than that, the restaurant is not yet allowed to serve booze. The hotel bar, right next door, is full licensed though, and dinner guests were invited to drink complimentary wine over there whenever the need arose: but not permitted to bring it back to your table. The menu is also stamped "bar à vins". One day! All the nonsense handled well with comped dessert, and I think a percentage off the overall check too. Give them a week to settle in." [Eater Tipline]
The Great News: "The food was great -- favorite ap: provencal flatbread; favorite entree: steak au poivre. I saw several people being served dinner from Plein Sud in the cozy nooks in the lounge/lobby of the Smyth which has a liquor license... " [Eater Comments]
Even More Good News: Tribeca Citizen chimes in with a rave: "The restaurant is much more ambitious than I expected...The room is very pretty, very Provençal moderne, with country fabrics, rustic wood, and linen-esque upholstery rubbing up against ornate floral arrangements, stone tiles, and lighting fixtures with filament bulbs, a signature touch from the design firm AvroKO...The menu was much more appealing than I recalled...The salad, as I mentioned, was attractive and delicious, with canned tuna as well as the carpaccio, perfectly boiled potatoes, peeled grape tomatoes (fancy! and so much easier to eat!), haricots verts, olives, hard-boiled egg, and tarragon. The frites were double-fried, with that crispy crust you sometimes see, and dusted with parmesan and parsley." [Tribeca Citizen]
The Foursquare Assessment: Two positive tips from the Foursquare page: "save room for the lavender creme caramel. maybe save room for three of them -- it's that good." And: "Lamb tartine deliciouso!" [Foursquare]
The Top Chef Tweet: Top Chef alum Stephen Asprinio tweets his review: "Found an excellent place for breakfast downtown...at this cool French spot in TriBeCa...the Smyth Hotel's new restaurant Plein Sud." [Twitter]