*Update: Vanished June 5, 2008
For those who miss Sucelt and anticipate missing Florent, there is a tiny luncheonette on Greenwich Ave, just past 7th Ave, that manages a loose combination of the two: French diner meets inexpensive Latin flavors.
Chez Brigitte has been in business since 1958--this year is their 50th anniversary--and was begun by a woman named Brigitte Catapano, a native of Marseilles. When she retired to Florida, the diner went to her partner Rosa Santos and acquired its Spanish touch. Both women have since passed away, but the diner is still in the hands of a Spaniard, and chef Raphael hails from Mexico. The atmosphere is friendly and the food is pure comfort, "la cuisine grandmere."
The Voice's Robert Sietsema writes: "The signature is beef bourguignon, a massive platter of tender gravied meat with a touch of red wine (that's the French part), with petits pois and a couple of starchy sides; or check out the poulet roti, a tender breast painted with a dark sophisticated demi-glace."
The names of the dishes may be French--Boeuf Bourguignon, Ragout de Veau, Fricassee de Poulet--but it's Latin-style eating at affordable prices. The lunch special is $7.40 and comes with dessert and soda. For breakfast, any omelette with potatoes is $3.75.
Even at these prices, business has been slow. Little Chez Brigitte tends to blend into the woodwork. I must have passed it a hundred times before I noticed it and bothered to stick my head inside. So here it is. It's good, it's cheap, it's the real deal. Now go--before they're gone.