281 West 12th Street, New York (West Village)
Web Site: http://www.cafecluny.com
A few weeks ago I had a business lunch with a colleague in the publishing industry. He lives in the West Village, and suggested that I hook up with him near his house and we eat lunch there. He suggested Cafe Cluny, a small yet warm little French restaurant which is in the same restaurant group as The Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg. I was in the mood for a light lunch as I had dinner plans that evening as well, and I was told that the dishes at Cluny were not heavy, so this seemed to be the perfect place to go to.
Cafe Cluny is on a rather unassuming corner of West 12th. It doesn’t look like much and you could easily pass it by without giving it any notice at all. Don’t do that! By all means, go in.
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Cafe Cluny’s Bar dining area. There is another dining room towards the rear of the restaurant.
The lunch menu, which changes frequently.
The wine list.
My dining companion had the Baby Beet Salad with Tangerines and Aged Goat Cheese.
I had the Organic Salmon Tartare with Old Chatham Sheep’s Milk Yogurt. Light and refreshing.
My dining companion decided to go super light for his lunch and had the lobster bisque, which I got to try. Typically I find lobster bisque heavy but this had a strong seafood flavor with very little thickener or dairy component added. I liked this bisque a lot — good seafood flavor but didn’t bog you down. Bisque Light — same great taste but less filling!
I got the Sauteed Calamari with Farro, Chorizo, Lemon Thyme & Garlic Jus. Perfectly tender and cooked calamari, with crispy bits of chorizo, chewy farro grains, with a acidic and garlicky punch in the sauce. Obviously Iberian-inspired. A great little dish for a very cold day — made me feel like I was in the Mediterranean and not New York City during the winter.
My dining companion and I both looked at each other, unsure of whether to pull the trigger on dessert. We decided we would share one — and agreed that if we were going to be bad, we’d be really bad — the Dark Chocolate Torte with Marscarpone Cheese. Indeed, this dessert was so rich it was more than enough to share.