Thursday, November 17, 2016


RDV on 8th Avenue by 112th Street quietly debuted over the weekend and we stopped in last night to see what the French eatery was all about.   The former location of 5 & Diamond has now been transformed into a much brighter, contemporary space with a focus on tapas style lighter fare that is found in the south of France.  Chef Kfir Ben-Ari headed up Paradou in the Meat Packing District and now has brought something quite unique to the dining scene on Frederdick Douglass Boulevard.

One of the first things to note at the 37-seat eatery is that everything is under $20 for the most part and has a focus on regional meats, fish and vegetables.  We first had a roasted dish of quail from Pennsylvania garnished with sauces made from baby beets and piquillo pepper with a dusting of bacon powder which stood out because of the quality of the main ingredient even though the garnishes were a nice touch.

The same can be said about the marinated sardines present with slivers of cucumber and a bouquet of garlic micro greens which was one of the best grilled fish dishes we have had in some time.  Roasted celeriac mainly seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt was also another example of the less is more attitude of the fine dishes offered up at RDV.  We thought that the pureness of the cuisine was almost like eating in Italy for the first time which made sense since the south of France is by the Mediterranean.

There is also a very edited wine list which has some top quality offerings for those with particular taste. We had a glass of pinot on the menu that was more extraordinary than most and would definitely recommend trying the selection during the course of an evening.  RDV might have inconspicuously opened just north of Central Park but we already see the restaurant as becoming one the best debuts of the year.

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