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At the Bar: Brigitte

At the Bar
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I knew I’d love Brigitte before I even stepped foot inside the place. The French-Brazilian restaurant and bistro is nestled in the LES, gives off seriously sexy Instagram vibes, and has a cute website. Plus, NYC editor in chief Giselle had a really lovely time there.

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The Vibe

It was a particularly disruptive Friday evening as I braved the Nor’Easter’s snow-wind-rain combo to trek across town. Upon blowing in the doorway, I was pleased to discover a dimly lit, exceptionally charming space with plenty of sex appeal. Low ceilings, candlelight, and gorgeous copper light fixtures made the lighting in the space perfect for a romantic dinner date. A preponderance of live plants, succulents, and sexy black-and-white photographs gave it a tropical vibe that’s hard not to love. I perched up at the long marble bar with my girlfriends, Alana and Edie, and began to decompress.

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Is this Seat Taken?

An industry professional, Edie knows more than a few things about cocktails, having worked at some of the best bars in Washington, D.C. and now consulting for high-end food and beverage programs around the world. We three girls perched at the bar and were charmed by Romin, the shaggy haired and youthfully charming French bartender, who who helped me practice my French while crafting killer libations.

The Libations

Edie graciously worked her way through the bar’s classic drinks, sampling both a martini and an old-fashioned and reporting that both were well-executed, well-presented versions of both staples.

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Brigitte offers an evening aperitif—i.e., happy hour—with a concise but inventive cocktail menu. There are two cocktails on tap: the Sparkling French Blonde and the Negroni.

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I ordered the Sparkling French Blonde, which is crafted with gin, Lillet Blanc, grapefruit juice, elderflower, and club soda with a dash of bitters. I’m becoming more and more of a gin drinker, as I love crisp cocktails with champagne, grapefruit, or soda, which tend to be available with gin as the base. Served in a coupe, the Sparkling French Blonde was cool, refreshing, and light with the perfect finish on the palate.

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Alana and I met in Peru, and she loves Latin America, so it seemed apt that she order the Sweet Flight to the South, a drink crafted with tequila, pear juice, and elderflower. Also served in a coupe, this cocktail was sweet without being saccharine—the tequila and pear played together beautifully.

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We ordered a round of oysters, served in the classic style with lemons and a shallot mignonette—they were fresh and went down easy. You can’t go wrong with fresh oysters.

As it was girls’ night, tuna tartare is a must-order. The Brigitte version is a refreshing and healthy take on tartare—no chips to be found here. Instead it was slices of beautiful, deep pink tuna served with cucumber ribbons dressed in a light, sweet sesame dressing. The plate was drizzled with a rich wasabi cream.

We were feeling something hearty, so we shared the sweet potato gnocchi. These massive puffs of sweet potato arrived in a hot mini casserole dish straight from the oven—and covered with cheese. Gnocchi and cheese never disappoint, and these were simple yet decadent.

Brigitte
37 Canal Street
New York, NY
(LES)

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