Excuse My French is a charming French tapas bar with really nice food. You know, one of those places you would love to have just around the corner from where you live. The restaurant is located on Orchard Street, which is Lower East Side’s hipster highway, so I had noticed the restaurant before, but the timing was never been on my side, and the tiny restaurant had always been full, when I was hungry. Though 10pm on a weekday turned out to be a good time to go, and even though the restaurant was far from empty, we managed to score two seats in the bar.
I like escargots, or, well.. I like the taste of garlic and butter, but I honestly don’t have the slightest idea about what a snail au naturel actually tastes like. I don’t think I want to find out either. The escargots at Excuse My French were really big, and the shells were so beautiful that I considered asking if I could take them home for decoration.
The menu had a handful of vegetarian options such as the baked Portobello with garlic and herbs. The texture was almost like meat, and I liked the crispiness provided by the bread crumbs on top, almost like a mushroom schnitzel. Poul wasn’t a fan though, so they were all mine.
My dictionary wants to translate rillettes to pâté, but I think the French would disagree that these are the same. It’s a spread, which is made from pork or duck, as the one we had at Excuse My French, and before I became a cheese monster, I always had rillettes with my baguette and red wine, when everybody else was having brie.
On to the pan-fried foie gras lollipops. The sesame seeds and the apple cider reduction provided a discrete twist to this beloved classic, which was gone in 60 seconds.
Steak tartare is another guilty pleasure of mine. At Excuse My French it comes with a raw quail egg yolk on top, a smear of something white and some undefined green stuff on the side, which I’m still not sure whether you were supposed to eat or not.
We had two cocktails each, but I can’t remember which ones. One of them is captured in one of the photos below, and I think it might be a champagne cocktail of some kind?
The intimate, come-a-little-closer surroundings at Excuse My French make up the perfect settings for a romantic rendezvous. One of my male friends always takes his dates to The Back Room on the 2nd date, but if the date is hungry, I think Excuse My French would be a better alternative. I probably should tell him.
Excuse My French, 96 Orchard Street (between Broome St & Delancey St), Lower East Side, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 780-9600. No reservations.