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Joe Pytka's Bastide may be the ultimate mogul's toy, an intimate, luxurious restaurant designed by Andre Putnam, uncrowded and serene, with a kitchen the size of a hockey rink, a distinguished cellar and a roster of ex-chefs distinguished enough to constitute a restaurant scene onto itself - Pytka runs Bastide the way other men subsidize opera seasons. If you have come to Bastide to experience the full afterburner thrust of advanced French cuisine you might have seen under its former chefs, you may be a bit disappointed. Joseph Mahon is a fine technical chef, but at the moment his cooking, rooted in French classics and farmers market produce, is simple and direct - a menu that wouldn't have seemed out of place at Citrus 20 years ago, whose kitchen coincidentally run at the time by Alain Giraud, Bastide's first chef. Pytka is known for his whim of iron, and by the time you make it to the restaurant it may have been transformed to a replica of a Strasbourg bistro, a Burgundy farmhouse or a three-star restaurant in Annecy, but Mahon's vision of Bastide 4.0 is worth a look.
For those of you who keep a running tally of the chefs at Bastide, Joe Pytka's Melrose Place restaurant, you can now officially put Sydney Hunter III's name up next to the Michelin inspector's Post-it... More »
This just in from the Department of Cold Emails. We knew that Joseph Mahon had left Joe Pytka's Melrose Place restaurant (attach his name to the roster of former chefs, a list that reads like a Mich... More »
Perhaps it would be easier if we just fitted GPS locators on all of Joe Pytka's former chefs. Imagine an app that gave you the whereabouts and restaurant plans for Bastide exes Ludo Lefebvre, Walter ... More »
Joe Pytka is different from you and me, a businessman whose name appears on more telephone poles than AT&T, a bon vivant who spends more on wine than Jay Leno spends on cars, and probably the only director to draw performances out of both Michael... More »
New chef, new menu, new Inside Word. It's all a la carte now (previously, there were tasting options), made up of sophisticated plates with seasonal ingredients. A corn soup with pork and curry oil was delicious, as was black cod and mussels with fava beans in a coconut milk broth. Full bar but with minimal liquor brands (seems like mostly one option per spirit - but that option is organic), extensive yet pricey wine list. Service is still on point, outdoor seating replaces the now closed Orso for one of the loveliest patios around, and whimsical interior decor has been retained, although some rooms now share space with Assouline book store on the property (so you feel like you're eating in a library). It's not as fancy/formal as it once was, and it's less of a dining "experience," but still extremely pleasant and worth recommending nonetheless! $5 valet and meter parking in the vicinity.
Although it took some time to obtain a reservation, it was worth the wait. The patio surrounded by Olive trees was to die for. The seared Fois Gras with Parmesan foam was heavenly. Loup de Mer was a show stopper !
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