Classic French fare and all-day cafes are both having major moments, and so it was only a matter of time until someone married the two. That person is chef Harold Moore, the owner of Harold’s Meat + Three who today opens Bistro Pierre Lapin, a French all-day cafe in the West Village at 99 Bank St., between Hudson and Greenwich streets.
With his menu, Moore looks to very traditional French dishes such as vichyssoise and blanquette de veau, while updating them to fit the more modern serving style. He uses avocado in the vichyssoise as opposed to potato to lighten the cold soup, while the blanquette de veau is a more modest portion than is typical.
“It’s not just a cookie-cutter French bistro with onion soup and steak frites,” Moore says.
Other classics include pike quenelles, artichoke with vinaigrette, and gigot d’agneau (whole roasted leg of lamb). A trip to France inspired the ravier, a roving food cart that carries various cold vegetables presented tableside, including marinated beets, celery remoulade, leeks vinaigrette, and lentil salad. The full menu is below.
Moore partnered with co-owner Julia Grossman, who’s in charge of beverages, with a focus on French wines and liqueurs, and desserts. She infused a playful spirit into the dessert list, like with carrot cake madeleines inspired by an illustration of a rabbit with carrots in the restaurant. (Pierre Lapin means Peter Rabbit in English.) A showstopper is the coeur a la creme for two, or a large heart-shaped cheesecake with raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.
The room has a timeless, formal feel to it — there are chandeliers, white tablecloths, and red velvet banquettes — but Moore and Grossman want diners to interact it like the other all-day cafes increasingly dotting the city, whether that’s for a breakfast meeting, open-laptop situation, or a weekday dinner. They’re focused on getting neighborhood regulars with specials like a daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that has $9 glasses of wine and complimentary cheese and bread at the bar.
Bistro Pierre Lapin is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., with breakfast all day and dinner starting at 5 p.m.