“French tapas” may sound like a contradiction, but it’s the direction French cuisine is heading in, according to Antonin Brune. The waiter at East Village longtimer Casimir partnered up with Mario Carta, the bistro’s owner, about eight months ago and within the next couple of weeks, they’ll relaunch it as Pardon My French.
Casimir fans can rest assured that Brune values the old-school feel of the interior, with its decorative tin ceiling and tiled archway leading to the bar. “It’s still going to have the same look with the low light and candles,” he said. “We don’t want to kill the atmosphere of Casimir, but the restaurant needed some love.” They’re currently building a new communal table to accompany the traditional dining space in the back.
Parisian chef Yllan Laloum, who is also chef for midtown pasta bar Ora di Pasta at the Plaza Hotel Food Hall, will be preparing shareable French staples, each with its own unique twist. With tapas running between $8 and $16 and entrees $16 to $30 dollars, diners can expect to pay about as much as they did at Casimir but have the ability to sample a wider variety of tastes.
If that’s not enough to get you through the door of this charmingly rustic space, maybe the chef’s childhood friend and head bartender Simon Sebbah can ply you with a cocktail like a classic Aviation. They were granted their full liquor license last month and are hoping to open in time for Valentine’s Day.