New York City provides many joys, not the least of which are the many small restaurants that can take you in your imagination to other places. Sel et Poivre on Lex in the mid 60s is just such a bistro -- loaded with Gallic charm, pale-yellow walls, hung with black-and-white French streetscapes -- each with a little story to tell, almost all repaying close study. (Some of the airport images are especially haunting.)
Friendly waiters, excellent food, interesting wine list. Janet and I had a great luch there a couple of weeks ago -- a delicate tasting leek and potato soup, wonderously green, perfectly cooked skatefish on a bed of greens and shallots, superb grilled chicken breast, a perfect light lunch before a mid afternoon business meeting.
The Sancerre Blanc Domaine Sautereau 2004 (100% Sauvignon Blanc) was a perfect match for the food. We remembered visiting Domaine Sautereu years ago, seven or eight clicks from Sancerre, an 18 hectare estate in the same family for nine generations. A cool fermentation, leads to a very fruity style, lemons, minerals, herbs and floral notes, firm acidity, brisk and interesting finish. (None of that piercing gooseberry acidity you sometimes find, but still there were ripe gooseberry lingering and adding interest to the mix.) About $20 a bottle retail; $7.00 a glass at Sel et Poivre. 4*.
Janet and I highly recommend the restaurant and the wine.