Note: Pastis closed in February 2014, as the building it occupied closed for renovations. Owner Keith McNally claims it will re-open in 2015. We shall see.
A colleague and I visited Pastis a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t my choice. I have nothing against the place, but I’ve seen the long lines plenty of times, and I doubted that it would be worth braving the crowds. However, he made a 7pm reservation, and at that hour the restaurant was only just beginning to fill up.
My colleague mentioned that Pastis seems to be one of those iconic New York restaurants where you’re supposed to see celebrities—or that’s the theory, anyway. We didn’t spy anyone famous. He mentioned that he’s watched Sex and the City only four times, and twice the characters dined at Pastis.
Well, what about the food? I had a mediocre steak tartare and a decent grilled sea bass. A not unhappy experience, but certainly nothing to justify the restaurant’s reputation. Tables are both small and uncomfortably close together, the noise level is loud, and menus double as placemats. At least the prices are reasonable.
You won’t eat badly at Pastis, but we could hardly see what all the fuss is all about.
Pastis (9 Ninth Avenue at Little West 12th St, Meatpacking District)