By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
Even with Pistache's limited menu, I didn't taste a morsel there that I didn't love, and it started with a basket of bread. We learned that the flour for this loaf, baked on site, is flown in from France, which may account for its cloudlike crumb and a crust that crackles disarmingly. Eaten slathered with butter alongside a bowl of soup — onion ($7.75) or du jour (potato leek, $6.75) — it's manna. Melted Gruyère tops the druggy brew of softened onions in their bath of winey broth, and the leek-potato is as trippingly light as the onion is wicked. Escargots in garlic butter ($10) were mouthfuls of bliss. A grilled minute steak with frites ($23.50) was as good an example of that bistro classic as I've ever tasted — the steak faultlessly seasoned, the slender, buttery fries simultaneously crisp and melting. A roasted filet of mahi mahi Niçoise ($19) loved the red and green peppers and sautéed onions it came with. And Pistache's wine list of 50 or so bottles priced from very affordable to insane (the Dom P. is $250), and almost exclusively French, is charming.
"A roasted chicken with French fries is just a roasted chicken with French fries," Beaud reportedly has said. Alors, if only it were true. There are a hundred-and-one ways to fuck up a roasted chicken, and another hundred ways to massacre a fry; put them together and the potential for disaster is incalculable. Modest, modest Monsieur Beaud!
And one supposes that the tarte Tatin ($7) is just oh so easy. Ridiculous, really, you just throw it together, eh?, cut up some apples and put them in a crust. And then you have these silly, silly Americans, who have never tasted anything so delicious in their entire lives, simply raving like maniacs — over what any Frenchman eats every day, giving it not two seconds of thought.
Ah well. If all food this simple could be as perfectly executed, it would be a miracle at least as great as designing a livable city from scratch.