Magazine article The New Yorker

360;

Magazine article The New Yorker

360;

Article excerpt

360 Van Brunt St. (718-246-0360)--"Fish salty enough for you?" Jorge Riera, the manager of this Red Hook French restaurant, groused when he caught a customer overseasoning his dish. Riera and the owner, Arnaud Erhart, both burly and bearded, run the floor with intimidation tactics that seem borrowed from the auto mechanics on "Monster Garage." There is no room for negotiation.

Erhart is also an aggressive morning marketer, and brings in a fresh haul every day for his chef, Pascal LeSeac'h. The menu changes nightly, but the price is always twenty-five dollars for an appetizer, entree, and dessert, and there are always three choices of each. LeSeac'h has a nice touch at the stove: a recent roast-pork entree came with a thick layer of caramelized onions; balsamic vinegar infused every bite. A lamb chop, ordered rare, was seared perfectly. You can also order a la carte or pick from a list of Les Petites Faims: oysters, steak tartare, a charcuterie plate. The codfish brandade--fish mashed with garlic and cream--was passed around the table and swiftly disappeared. For dessert, there are simple tarts and financiers.

The restaurant occupies a well-designed storefront on a ramshackle block, and lazy sunset basketball games on a court across the street provide background noise. …

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