Brooklyn >Food & Dining > Abistro
154 Carlton Ave, Brooklyn, NY | Directions 1120540.692965 -73.972966
Tue-Thu, 6pm-10:30pm; Fri, 6pm-midnight; Sat, 10am-3:30pm and 6pm-midnight; Sun, 10am-3:30pm and 6pm-10:30pm; Mon, closed
Neighborhoods: Fort Greene
the great reviews misled me – I've never left a restaurant review, but after my visit to this place, I think people ought to hear my honest opinion.
Service: Pretty good service, even though the waiter was on a cell phone when we walked in, and while he brought us water. He apologized, so we were forgiving and he was nice.
Food: We ordered the fried chicken, which is no ordinary fried chicken. My boyfriend would have preferred the chicken to be butterflied (especially since this is a $24 full size dish). He also didn't like the Dijon mustard (which is what is in Dijonaisse sauce.) I liked the taste overall, but I think the mustard wasn't necessary, since the dish already was packed with a lot of tasty flavors. I loved the pineapple scented jasmine rice cake.
Price: We each had a small glass of ginger juice ($6 each) with a lot of ice. No appetizers or dessert. Total for everything was about $63 (not including a tip). I think too pricey for what we got (but a full satisfying meal and experience would be worth it).
Environment: They have a curtain around the front door. It was really cold outside, and I felt that the curtain could have at least been closed, or mostly closed to block the cold draft that I felt when people walked in. The bathroom had ice cold water in February. Not pleasant while washing hands. Besides that, you can't get your hands very clean with ice cold water. Bathroom had a clip lamp, looked like a temporary fix.
Our table was wobbly, but we decided that we could deal with it. Don't mean to get nitpicky, but I feel it's important to tell about the whole experience.
When I got home, I got sick. Same reaction I get when I eat food that has a lot of MSG it in. This is a food additive that unfortunately is in many foods, sauces, condiments, and in a lot of restaurant meals, as well as in packaged foods. And they are able to hide the ingredient on any ingredient label by calling it something else. MSG is a neurotoxin (with many other adverse effects). A restaurant does not have to physically add MSG to be using it, it already comes in some of the stuff they use to cook the meals. And I am very sorry to give people this unpleasant news, but MSG is in almost all dijon mustard and condiments. It gives any dish such a punch of flavor that it makes anything taste a lot better, and makes you want to eat and eat. This is not limited to Chinese food, which is what a lot of people think. If this is the first time you have heard about these things, do a web search for excitotoxin and MSG.
I usually only get sick when a lot of MSG is in a meal. If I felt fine when I got home, I may not even be writing a review.
I think with all the money this place makes as profit, they could at least invest more of it into making the place more comfortable for customers, or at least give the bathroom hot water in the middle of winter.
I still give it 2 stars, which I feel is generous after my experience.
Great Service – I recently went to abistro and tried the mussels, amazing hands down, also Melissa the waitess was amazing
great place – i really liked it and enjoyed myself . . . the person who helped me was awesome and very friendly
Favorite restaurant hands down – I came across Abristo in the most interesting of ways. I asked a woman whom I really fancied n wanted to impress to pick the country she'd like to eat in for our first date n when she responded with Senegal, to say the least I was a bit dumbfounded. Senegalese was a cuisine I had never tried nor knew much about, so I was a bit thrown off my footing. With a few calls to some fellow foodies I realized I kept being told the same name ? Abistro! Abistro! Abistro! Each review more grandiose than the last of this Senegalese/French fusion restaurant n please understand that the term fusion is used in the best sense and practice of the word in this case. I did some research on my own, stopped by the restaurant, and during an afternoon stroll in the area (Recon), Cassandra the owner was so helpful in explaining EVERYTHING on the menu, mind you they were closed at the time. My date and I returned later that evening to the quaint restaurant with its white washed exterior and no large signage, but huge front glass windows and door that lead you into a warm dark wooded floor with candle lit tables n an open kitchen that let you see Abdoul the chef doing what he does best in all his glory. We took our seats n had one of the best meals ever. We literally ordered 85% of the menu n with each course offering we sat more impressed than the last - from the mussels in a sauce so good I could eat it every day of this cold winter and step out to conquer the world, to the short rib that until that exact moment the saying ?melts in your mouth? was to me just a creative description until this short rib did exactly that, n then we had the warm bread pudding a la mode, I think with all the water that?s just filled my mouth with just the mere thought of it I don?t have to say much more. The young lady n I are no longer together, but it still stands as her best date n meal to date n I still eat here at least three times a month. Plain n simply ? Abistro is the best. Period. Fin. Done.
Best eats for your buck in Brooklyn (bring a wine, ti's BYOB. Don't be shy about calling ahead for a recommendation.) – I don't get out. I work at home. The eateries I'm forced to frequent serve things between bread, or are more open faced and triangular, maybe with peppers. Fortunately, I've got a lot of family around the city. They like to visit, see a show, do some touristy stuff, and go to a really, really, well reviewed restaurant. I am only too happy to engage in the free eats. Often the dishes are nicely prepared, but the service is slow, the atmosphere is pretentious, and the bills, well the bills get real big real quick. Suffice to say, almost all of these meals take place in Manhattan, and at the end of each one while my family is promising to come to Brooklyn sometime, I tell them about this great little restaurant. I tell them the food is Senegalese. I tell them the atmosphere is intimate and charming. I tell them it's tiny. I tell them it's owned and operated by a really nice, gracious couple, and they treat you like family, but unobtrusively (sounds impossible doesn't it?) in warm relaxed fashion. I tell them I've had almost everything on the menu, and everything is not only delicious, but smart. It's surprising and comforting, spicy but tranquil. I tell them it's a combination of African and French done so flawlessly the you really cant tell where one ends and the other begins. I tell them the apps are delightful, and well portioned, I tell them it's affordable (half portions available on most entrees, but go for the full size for 15 to 20 bucks. You'll want it later, just leave room for the bread pudding). I tell them that all my friends go there for their small celebrations. I tell them it's the best meal for my money I've had in NY so far, and then they start listening. If Im spending my own money on a nice meal, they listen, but they still won't come to Brooklyn.
A Hidden Treasure – If you're ever in Fort Greene, in fact, even if you're not in the neighborhood this little gem of a restaurant would be well worth a venture into the outer boroughs. Those who know, folks are always looking for new spots in that neighborhood to liven up the 'Fulton or DeKalb tonight?' debate...Bistro (as it is affectionately called) is your answer. Restaurant is owned and operated by a husband-wife team (and an occasional cameo by their daughter) and literally feels like you're in their home. The service is delightful, provided you luck out and can actually get a table, and the food is delicious. The Senegalese fried chicken with sweet jasmine rice patty is insane. The akara (black-eyed peas/codfish fritter), the apricot goat cheese mixed greens and the killer bread pudding....again, all equally insane. All of the dishes that I've tried are cleverly and meticulously seasoned, beautifully presented and 'wiggle your toes' kinda comforting! If you're not a fan of the spicy or the creamy you may want to let that be known up front w/the hostess/waitress/owner (all the same person...you go girl!). I'm honored to be the first to review and hope everyone enjoys Bistro as much as we do. Best of luck to you guys.
Unusual little place – We came here for dinner in a party of four. The restaurant refused to take a reservation and we felt they were a bit rude on the phone. Upon arrival, we were seated within a few minutes. The restaurant is BYOB. The service is not exceptional but effective. The restaurant is very small (seats fewer than 20), clean, and conducive to a friendly conversation. It would also likely be good for a low key romantic evening. The food is above average. The steak and mussels were quite good. The fish, however, was not especially impressive. Overall, I would recommend this place if bringing your own wine is important to you.
Just my favorite place!! – Best Burger Ever! The company is as good as the food!
Ft Greene gem – This tiny restaurant in Ft. Greene is one of the hidden culinary gems of NY. I've been to Abistro a few times, and the food is simply delicious - a rare mix of West African & French food. As a bonus, my boyfriend who is vegetarian had the choice of all the menu items as you can substitute any meat/seafood for tofu. It's also BYOB, which I think is a plus since you can bring what you like to drink for a lot less $$$. There are few tables, and each time I've gone, it was packed, so make sure to call ahead.
A gem! – You MUST try this place -- even though it may be a long haul to get there. The food is delicious -- a tasty combination of African, European and American flavors, with unusual ingredients (sorrell, palm sauce, maffa) and also favorites (fried chicken, salmon, bread pudding). The dishes are plated beautifully, the service is friendly, the value is unbeatable, and the vibe is unique. Great for groups or dates.
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