|Duck a l'orange with wild rice at Sel et Poivre|
Open since 1989, Sel et Poivre is a neighborhood gem that obviously has a regular clientele. The setting is more upscale than the standard bistro, with candles on white tables and elegant sconces on off-white walls with wood paneling. The restaurant was busy on a Tuesday night, with a mix of older couples, younger groups, and families enjoying some French favorites. We noticed two customers contently dining solo.
The restaurant offers all the classics you would expect to find at a traditional French bistro. There are bowls of French onion soup, dishes of garlicky escargots, and servings of moules mariniere with frites. Entrees include trout almandine, frogs legs a la provencal, and duck a l'orange. The wine lists offers a mix of French and international wines, with a generous selection of wines by the glass.
|Aged New York sirloin steak served with Roquefort or poivre sauce|
|Striped bass with artichokes and fennel|
Steak featured lots of poivre, in a good way; it was juicy and peppery and delicious. We tried it with a mild Roquefort sauce and an excellent poivre sauce, which was creamy and peppery. We fought over which sauce was better with fries (my vote was the poivre).
|Veal kidneys with mustard cream sauce|
|Molten chocolate cake with ice cream|
Desserts were the usual classics, done right. Creme brulee was set well with a great charred crust. The chocolate dessert was your basic (delicious) molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
Sel et Poivre
853 Lexington Ave. (between 64th and 65th)
Tel. (212) 517-5780
Disclaimer: My meal was paid-for as part of an organized press dinner. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. No restaurant is ever promised a positive review.