Magazine article The New Yorker

Belcourt

Magazine article The New Yorker

Belcourt

Article excerpt

New York has all the special-occasion restaurants one could wish for, along with a seemingly endless supply of pizza parlors and banh mi joints. It's finding the middle ground--the place with good food, fair prices, and nice waiters where you and your best friend can have a Martini and a hanger steak on a Friday night, or a Bloody Mary and a croque-madame on a Sunday morning, without having made a reservation a week in advance--that can be a drag. That's why Belcourt, a Parisian-inflected cafe and restaurant, inspires such appreciation amongst its regulars, a vaguely literary crowd that, on a recent night, included a Times book reviewer and, nearby, two famous novelists sharing a charcuterie plate and passing paperbacks across a watermarked wooden table.

Belcourt's menu is more ambitious than it has to be: given the room's pleasing ambience (walls of huge windows, mint-green woodwork, smoky mirrors, a few modern vases here and there, so that it doesn't all seem too derivative), the usual array of bistro favorites would have done. But, in addition to a beef burger, the chef, Matt Hamilton, offers a pink, peppery lamb burger and dresses both with spicy ketchup and zucchini pickles. …

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