When you go to a trendy restaurant's website these days, you'll find a couple standard links to click on. You can click on the menu. And then you can click on the brunch menu, of course. You can click on the "reservations" tab, where you'll find a note that says, "We only take 4 reservations a night! Walk-ins welcome :)" (The smiley face is key.) You can click on the "photos" tab where you'll see pictures of a singular cocktail glass, a weird shot of the bar, and a "seasonal" dish that hasn't been on the menu since last Spring.
And then there's the "Our Story" tab. This is the one where the hip new restaurant tells you about how its founders used to be management consultants who went on a yoga retreat to Nicaragua, which inspired them to open a coffee shop/vegan rice bowl restaurant. Or where they tell you about how the chef's grandfather owned a pizza place in "Napoli" (the Italian spelling is key) so his progeny decided that the East Village needed yet another Italian restaurant.
Le Garage, a French restaurant in Bushwick, definitely has an "Our Story," and theirs is sweet. The short version: an interior architect decides to open a restaurant, and decides to do it with her mother, who, as it turns out, was a chef at a bunch of serious restaurants in Paris. The result is a friendly, well-designed but extremely understated and low-key restaurant that serves foie gras (the mom's recipe!) and a good chicken for two.
This nice story has been circulated and celebrated, in places like The New Yorker, which means the restaurant is filled with a mix of people who live in Bushwick & Williamsburg and people with gray hair who haven't missed an issue of The New Yorker in 30 years and likely don't live in Bushwick.
Le Garage isn't a restaurant you need to travel across the city for, but it's a good spot to know about if you're in the area and looking for a grown-up place for a date or to bring your mom. She'll love the story.
French restaurants sure love to put some chopped up egg and capers over a dish. Get an order of these to start.
If no one else is going to be the person who suggests, "Should we try the foie gras?," be that person. Be bold. This stuff is homemade, and comes with good bread and even better strawberry/raspberry jam.
This $35 chicken for two is a great date-night dish to share. It's affordable, and very good. The apricot-sweet potato side it comes with is nice as well.
Are you the person who says, yep, I'm getting the lamb chops? Do so confidently here. These are very tender and very tasty.
A very French fish preparation, with some olives and a tomato-based sauce underneath. When we had it, it came with scallops as well.
You're never going to regret ordering a side of potatoes.