"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Bonjour, Bar Bête! Welcome To Smith Street

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Right at the end of 2019, Bar Bête, a French-Canadian bistro,  opened at 263 Smith Street the corner of Degraw in Carroll Gardens. We were too busy to acknowledge its opening as we were busy with planning for the holidays, but are happy to see that new life has been breathed into this corner retail space occupied until recently by Provence en Boite.
The eatery is a new venture for Joe Ogrodnek, formerly of Battersby and Dover, and chef Marc St. Jacques, who was the executive chef at Toronto’s famed Auberge du Pommier for a decade.
The space has been tastefully redone and the interior looks quite inviting.
The name 'bête' by the way comes from the French word for 'beast', though it also means 'stupid'.
In this case, it must surely refer to the menu, which includes steak tartare, roasted poussin, and aged duck.
Bar Bête is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30pm to 11pm.

Have you tried this new restaurant yet? How was it?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

its the best addition to smith street in years...

Katia said...

Wonderful! Have you been yet?

Anonymous said...

I give it a year.

Anonymous said...

It looked ominous when it opened. No signs. No menu. Just waitstaff pacing back and forth. No patrons. Looks sterile and uncomfortable. Like a bar that serves snacks. Once the menu appeared in a very small font we decided it wasn’t for us.

Anonymous said...

It has been pretty busy every evening especially later in the evening. Ate there during Christmas week when less busy. The chickpea crepe appetizer was really good, and I hoped the chosen entrée, the crispy fish, would be equally good. It was good but not great. The ravigote sauce was delicious, chervil, chives, tarragon and shallots I think, made it pop, but perhaps the rectangular piece of fluke was too boring on its own. I don't know but I didn't want to finish the fish. Though I prefer small menus over the multi-page versions, there really isn't enough left on the entrée menu to entice me back.
Service was very good.

bored at work said...

This is indeed a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Provence en Boite was such a drag on the corner and the entire block for the last several years of its existence as it did little to no business. Now we have Bar Bete, East Wing Noodle, Mama Capri and a Sushi restaurant on the way in the old Battersby space.

We tried Bar Bete last Saturday and the food and service were both very good. We liked the steak tartare, the clam soup and the salmon over yogurt with dill. We did not try any of the larger entrees, though.

There is clearly a professional team behind this restaurant and great care has gone in to the design of the space. The chef oversaw much of the work himself (I live close enough to pass by everyday) and was there during construction as the space was transformed from P en B to the new Bar Bete. I wish them luck.

Anonymous said...

@bored at work, are you sure that the Battersby space is going to be sushi? I thought it was going to be ramen, from someone associated with Ippudo.

bored at work said...

@anonymous.

Per the the Brooklyner
https://bklyner.com/cb6-recommends-liquor-license-approval-for-two-new-ramen-spots/

you are correct. But the September opening date is long past:

Another ramen restaurant, located at 255 Smith Street, was also recommended for approval by the board members. The space was previously occupied by the community favorite Battersby, which closed after seven years of business. The ownership of the new spot worked at the ultra-popular ramen spot Ippudo in New York for the last ten years, according to representatives present. The space boasts french doors and windows, which will be open when the weather is warm. The company, Raw Power NY LLC, hopes to open the restaurant in September.

Unknown said...

Could be a lot more transparent including seating going around the corner on to Degraw