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

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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 its a mostly pan-Mediterranean menu that hes worked out with veteran chef Jim Cummings, wholl add his own daily specials (Brandade, calamari, and the like). Much as we enjoyed the mussels sauted 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 Angels Share.

Its 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 Bistrouges 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.