Frederick Lesort has slyly opened his southern-France-styled brasserie at the Thompson Hotels’ newest project, the Smyth, and by next Tuesday, the spot should be serving continuously from 6 a.m. to midnight. For now, chef Ed Cotton is offering a menu of Gallic classics that in some ways (specifically, the pâtés and terrines, charcuterie and accompanying vegetables, and specialties like coq au vin and escargots persillade) resembles the one at Bar Boulud, a kitchen Cotton was at one point designated to run.
Instead, the Daniel veteran landed briefly at Veritas and then at BLT Market, and, extracurricularly, on Cat Cora’s Iron Chef team. Cotton, who worked for Todd English and Barbara Lynch earlier in his career, has professed a particular fondness for cooking pasta, which makes us eager to try his pasta printemps with citrus gremolata, not to mention his “Burger Royale au Fromage,” an eight-ounce Pat LaFrieda number stuffed with cheese and slathered with black-truffle aïoli. There’s also an intriguing assortment of house-baked flatbreads, like “L’Olivier” Alsatian, a delicious-sounding if potentially lethal combination of grilled knackwurst, Munster cheese, sauerkraut, red-bliss potato, and mustard aïoli.
As for the décor, AvroKo took inspiration from Arles, and maybe even more from gardening (but none, so far as we know, from Vincent van Gogh). Screens resemble soil sifters, and cabinets contain rustic implements like sap-harvesting cups. Design buffs often peg an AvroKo project by the lighting, but in this case, the hand-blown glass and the brass fixtures were custom-made in Brooklyn, with nary a bare Edison bulb in sight.
Plein Sud, 85 W. Broadway, at Chambers St.; 212-204-5555