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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Belle de Jour

When I stumbled on this place with a friend, we loved the the whole image: a quaint French restaurant in an obscure location under the Brooklyn Bridge, with what we romanticized to be the defiant, cigarette-smoking Frenchman with attitude out in front. We did not eat here, but my reading of reviews and their website this morning tells me that this place could be a real find. The chef, Ovidiu Pastae, previously owned Au Coin du Feu ("by the fireplace") in Vence, France, and a SOHO sibling by the same name at 222 Lafayette (now closed). His newest restaurant, Belle de Jour Bistro, opened in April of 2007. It is named after the 1967 French classic film, “Belle de Jour,” directed by Luis Bruneul and starring Catherine Deneuve. The bistro's building, located at 259 Front Street in the South Street Seaport area, was a flour mill built in 1809 and designed by Robert Mills, one of the first professional architects in the United States. Working primarily in the Baltimore-Washington area in the neoclassical style, Mills is most well known for designing the Washington Monument (along with the Department of Treasury and other federal buildings). After locating an article with a photo of Ovidiu, I am now thinking that the man I caught in my photo may be Ovidiu himself?

12 comments:

Lucy said...

It's him, I'm sure!

Chandlermom said...

I love the scene, it looks straight out of a movie - let us know when you eat there

Brian said...

It feels so remote and secluded when you are actually there. We will try it.

Lynette said...

I love the mood of this photo. And have you looked at the restaurant's Web site, http://www.belledejourbistro.com/index.htm? The photos certainly make a good impression.

mis3u said...

Yes that's Ovidiou. He's a great man and an excellent chef.

Patrick said...

Dear Brian,
you misspelled the name of the director, it's Luis Buñuel.

annulla said...

Ah, I didn't know his name, but I know that every time I've passed Belle de Jour, that fellow is standing outside, smoking.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ovidiu, I'm Philippe I'm so happy to find this way to write to you. Good luck for your new restaurant, you are the best chef in Manhattan people should know that. I writing to you from Russia where i am going to be married soon. I will manage a factory in Chelyabinsk>
Good luck
Happy new year
you deserv the best my friend

Philippe Gentil

Anonymous said...

thank you everyone!!! Ovidiu
Merci Philippe et bonne chance! Ovidiu

Charlotte said...

is this the same Ovidiu Pastae was was born and raised in Bucharest? So ...the "French Chef" is really the "Romanian Chef"

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true. Ovidiu is Romanian....oddly enough.

Anonymous said...

Luis Buñuel is a spanish director...

I LOVED au coin de feu in soho...i haven't thought about it in a long time and i'm glad he got up and running downtown like he said!