Rebelle in NoLIta is a French restaurant in an industrial-chic-style space; a mix of concrete and brick walls; visible black pipes in the ceiling; the bar is made from white marble and is the only element that is bright. It contrasts with the rest of the restaurant, emphasizing the industrial look.
Bloomberg Business writes: “Finally, New York Gets the French Restaurant It Deserves!” The Michelin Guide just assigned a star to the restaurant.
This neighborhood was for a while part of Little Italy, but in the second half of the 1990s real estate promoters and other sectors came up with Nolita, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. The desire of differentiating the areas came after an explosion of expensive retail boutiques and trendy restaurants and bars.
The restaurant is quite trendy but in a same time very laid-back. Our waiter was very cool and friendly and knew everything about the menu. It was funny to hear him speaking. He used the word “Protein” to describe the main dish. If he suggests you to order the 4-dish menu; 2 appetizers, one cold and one hot, the Protein dish, and the dessert; you should trust him, as the size of the dishes was a bit small.
The Lamb tartare (the cold appetizer) is excellent. It has the right balance of olive, yogurt, and shallots. The squash radicchio and bay leaf is a seasonal dish. It is very tasty and the squash melts in your mouth. The scallop with turnip and apple is a bold mix but surprisingly the ingredients go very well together. As for the main dish, both the pork and the duck are exquisite. The pork loin is cooked to perfection and is very tender. The Romesco, a nut and red pepper-based sauce originating from Tarragona, Catalonia, gives a very unique taste to the meat.
The duck is rosé and the skin crispy. The watercress adds a nice touch to the dish. It is served with a fruit similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature called quince. Slightly sweet it brings a very delicate taste to the meal. All the dishes have a very elegant and beautiful presentation.
They have more than 1,600 choices of wine. Food & Wine Magazine and Imbibe Magazine named Patrick, the wine director and partner of Rebelle, “Sommelier of the Year 2014”.
As for the dessert, I highly recommend the grape clafoutis champagne grape served with whipped cream and lime. It was delicious! It is a plate to share but it’s so good I could really eat it all!
Book now at Rebelle NYC – the reservations are hard to get.