After finally obtaining its wine and beer license earlier this year, the once narrow and cramped Antibes Bistro has more than doubled the size of its dining room, expanding into what had been vintage store Fox & Fawn. Owners David Shemesh (the chef) and Eyal Tov (the GM) did the build-out largely by themselves, giving the basement dining room exposed dark-wood beams, white walls, simple wooden tables, and mismatched rustic chandeliers. "Now we can spread out the tables and people can feel more comfortable," Shemesh says, "and we can maintain a better and larger menu."
The expanded menu should debut next month. "I’m trying to bring a more Mediterranean style into the restaurant," says Shemesh, who is Israeli, explaining that he’s been trying out potential new dishes as nightly specials since the new space opened last Friday. So far, a broiled dorade royale with garlic and thyme has been well received, as has lamb shank braised in red wine and herbs, served with couscous. The wine list is receiving an overhaul as well. The owners will add several organic wines, "more refined" French wines, and a few more sparkling wines for summer. These will be appropriate for diners who claim one of the spot’s four outdoor tables in front or one of 30 seats in the back garden, expected to open this summer if permitting goes as planned.