Resto Leon Resto Leon looks like the standard French Bistro in New York, mostly wood, a bit of dark red, and some mirrors. It’s dimly lit by candles set on tables packed closely together and the bench (against the wall) I was sitting on grew distractingly uncomfortable by the end of the meal. All this is forgivable if the food is good and when I dine at a bistro, I don’t expect anything inventive, just simple stuff done right.

On that note, my favorite for the night was an appetizer of Pan Roasted Cape Cod Squid. The simple preparation of garlic, olive oil, lemon, and parsley is a perfect one for tender morsels of squid.

The Escargot was pretty good but the left-over puddles of hot garlicky oil, full of herbs, made an even better dipping sauce for mediocre bread.

Our entrees arrived and before the waitress could set my plate on the table, I was grabbing for the fresh-out-of-the-fryer fries. They were hand cut, not as thin as the McDonald’s fries, so I was amazed at how crispy they were, and how crispy they remained. I will no longer be prejudiced against fries over a 1/4 inch thick.

My smile was soon wiped from my face as I cut in to the medium-well steak that I had ordered medium-rare. It was not a true Steak Au Poivre either, just steak with crushed black peppercorns. Winnie’s steak was also served medium-well, having ordered medium-rare.

They got Angie’s Magret De Canard (duck) right, but the highlight of her dish was really the potato gratin, a block of maybe 10-15 layers of very thinly sliced potato, with cream and cheese between each. We all stuck our forks on to Angie’s plate repeatedly.

Xiu ordered the Salmon A LA Leon which was pretty fancy looking for a bistro. The salmon was cooked correctly but the polenta was bland.

A few of us ordered lattes, that tasted burnt, and shared the Tart Tatin. The chunks of apple were large, making the small amount of pastry even less noticeable. It seemed pre-made, missing caramelization and the contrast of warm pastry to cold ice cream.

Like many places, Resto Leon made some things well, and some things not so well. My overall experience was not good enough for a return visit but it wasn’t bad enough for me to dissuade you from going. Just don’t order steak.

posted by jessica at 09:06 AM Filed under French, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.