New York has a new natural wine-centered neighborhood restaurant, and it comes from an impressive team with experience at fine-dining restaurants like Cafe Boulud and Aquavit. L’Accolade, a casual European-inspired bistro with global flavors, is now open in the West Village at 302 Bleecker St., near Seventh Avenue
It comes from executive chef Ben Traver, who previously worked at the Modern and Cafe Boulud, where he linked up with the L’Accolade chef de cuisine Nate Kuester, who has experience at the Cecil and Aquavit.
Both chefs are Korean-American and bring some Korean flavors to the food at L’Accolade, as with the flat iron steak served with soy glaze, crispy rice, and bok choy. But most have American and French influence, as in the fluke crudo with strawberry, fennel, and crispy quinoa or the salt cod brandade with a piquillo pepper sauce, parmesan, and lemon. Dishes are available a la carte or as part of a two-course ($38) or three-course ($45) prix fixe menu. The tight menus change every few weeks based on seasonality.
A seasonal cocktail menu comes from Felix Campos of Atla, while Clément Lapeyssonnie helmed the natural wine list with a focus on small winemakers from around the world. He tells Eater that there’s a list of about ten wines offered by the glass. There’s a happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. where a rosé, a red, and a white are offered for $10 a glass, changing daily. It’s an attempt to push lesser known wines on diners, Lapeyssonnie says. “It’s hard to convince people to try things they don’t know,” he says.
There’s a small, marble-top bar area in the restaurant, which has bistro vibes, and a quaint garden space ideal for happy hour. The team has a sibling restaurant in Marseilles called La Parenthèse, which similarly focuses on natural wine. It opened in 2008, and Lapeyssonnie says it helped shape the natural wine scene in Marseilles.
In NYC, L’Accolade joins a growing number of restaurants built around natural wine, which are made with no additives and often farmed organically. It’s still a niche subsect of the sprawling wine world, but lots of recent wine bar and wine-centric restaurant openings have been odes to the growing movement, including the Fly in Bed-Stuy, LaLou in Prospect Heights, Terre in Park Slope, and Tailfeather in Clinton Hill.
For now, the restaurant is just open for dinner, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Lunch and weekend brunch will roll out in late August or early September.