If you’re not paying close attention when you walk down West Broadway looking for Bâtard, there’s every chance you will miss the modest, compact storefront. Much like Beauty and Essex on the Lower East Side, the unassuming exterior gives way to a gorgeous open space amenable to people watching and conversation.
I didn’t have any expectations about Bâtard when I received an invitation to dine there. I’d never heard of the restaurant or chef Markus Glocker until I did my research and found that he is actually a bit of a big deal having worked at a number of Michelin Starred restaurants throughout Europe and the United States, and with luminaries like chef Gordon Ramsay.
Bâtard’s ambiance rivals that of some of the better restaurants in the city even within the small space it occupies. The decor is simple, yet elegant, and the crowd was composed of an older mix of professionals. I was struck that the owners, including chef Glocker, were walking around the floor on the night we attended; this lent more “pizzazz” to the already stellar surroundings. This is definitely a place where one should wear a sports coat or a sweater.
I opted for the four-course dinner option. The Octopus “Pastrami” (quotes actually used on the menu) was exceptionally flavored. The dish was actually in terrine form and was accented with pickled “new” potatoes, mustard, and the flavors were brought together with a small piece of hamhock. The second course was the aromatic and flavorful Romanesco-Cauliflower Soup, which consisted of roasted cauliflower in a ricotta salata and taragon sauce. The Steak Tartare was another gem on the menu being perfectly flavored. The main dish was the Tasmanian Ocean Trout served with baby artichokes, fennel farfalle, and seafood broth. The trout had a flaky crust with layers that peeled with perfectly-cooked ease. All of this was paired with several glasses of cabernet sauvignon, and then a dry riesling with the trout dish.
Bâtard is a great restaurant that I would recommend for a nice date or a business dinner given its pedigree.