New Dinner-and-Drinks Spot, Bistrouge, Starts Brunch This Weekend

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Photo: Courtesy of Bistrouge

As the magazine mentioned in passing last week, Bistrouge has opened in the East Village. We stopped in for more details — turns out the consulting chef is Diego Gonzalez of Zipi Zape and, before that, Alioli. His Spanish roots show in baby artichokes with Manchego cheese, but it’s a mostly pan-Mediterranean menu that he’s worked out with veteran chef Jim Cummings, who’ll add his own daily specials (Brandade, calamari, and the like). Much as we enjoyed the mussels sautéed in saffron and hard-cider broth, and the extremely generous tomato, cucumber, and Feta-cheese salad, we have to say, what really stood out were the cocktails by Shige of Angel’s Share.

It’s amazing to see an East Village spot open with a liquor license these days, much less with drinks like the Gingerouge, a tongue-tickler made with homemade ginger beer, and the Russo, a cinnamon-infused vodka cocktail that tastes like Big Red (in a good, complex way!) and is paired with a shot of heavy cream. You can find the dinner and drinks menus at Bistrouge’s Website — and a brunch menu will be added by the time service starts this weekend. The staff is keeping mum about it as of now, but they promise a super-spicy "Scary Mary" (sadly not created by Shige) and a Continental breakfast that is “very unusual.” Hmmm.