Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chez Brigitte Turns 50

*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.

7 comments:

ShatteredMonocle said...

Thank you for the vanishing menu pages! I will definitely check it out.

Carol Gardens said...

I have been eating here for 30 years. I remember the original owner. One thing that is a bit of a hassle: it is so small that there is NO BATHROOM! So be sure to "go" before you "go". The food is really delicious and simple. I like the chicken sandwich with lots of gravy.

Anonymous said...

This little place is one of the true gems of NYC! Can't beat their food. They have/had a pork chop special once a week. So good. Early evening, 9/11/01, I ate here, and with other diners, sat transfixed, watching the activity at St. Vincent's, wondering what fresh hell we would or would not witness in the city. Go to Brigitte's, be a regular before Bloomberg turns it into a condo.

BaHa said...

We must be walking past at different times! I've never eaten there because there was never a vacant seat.

Mike G said...

One of my favorite restaurants! In fact, me and the s.o. enjoyed an anniversary dinner there. Simple, tasty and full of old N.Y. feeling. Don't you ever jinx it by suggesting it may one day be gone!

Jeremiah Moss said...

mike g, i fear i did jinx it. it's gone.

Anonymous said...

I used to savor every moment of every meal at that little place. A decent sized salad with shaved carrot on top, fresh french bread and the main course cooked right before your eyes with almost too much butter. You didn't mind sitting on a stool next to strangers, because it was the REAL diner experience without the grease and rednecks and chatter. About 9 or ten bucks including everything. Mid 20th century Manhattan at its red neon and green melamine finest. It was the bookend to the (still unrenovated in 2011) 14th St - 7th Ave IRT station (the other end having Sucelt and Nueva Rampa). I am so glad this blog is memorializing such things.