The West Village welcomed this 40-seat, tin-ceilinged French country boîte in November 2013, and it’s steadily been turning heads for its tasty fare, highly original cocktails and teeny-tiny bar and kitchen.
Owner Jason Soloway originally conceived Wallflower as a cocktail and small plates kind of place, but he soon realized that his executive chef Jared Stafford-Hill (Maison Premiere and Ardour Alain Ducasse) had talent too big to contain to diminutive dishes. The one-time nonprofit executive turned restaurateur gave Hill full run of the 10-square-foot kitchen, including its build-out, which squeezes in everything required: three induction burners, a broiler, small oven, mini-dishwasher and a bainmarie to keep sauces warm, while still leaving room for Hill, his sous chef and a third staffer.
What comes out of that highly organized open kitchen are updated twists on Gallic fare. The menu changes daily based on market availability, but specialties include an organic chicken stuffed with foie gras and a regional dish spotlighting the Pyrenees-based sheep’s milk cheese Brebis, layered with eggplant and chorizo and garnished with Marcona almonds. There’s also a range of seafood dishes, both crudo and cooked, a foie gras sandwich, pork rillettes and beef short rib.
True to its original intention as a drinking den, there are no shortage of libations, including a short list of bespoke cocktails from Xavier Herit, formerly chief bartender at Daniel. The carrot shoshu-based Sho Sho, and the Smoking Guns, made with dark rum, smoked pineapple syrup, lime juice, habañero bitters and topped with Laphroaig, show off his cocktail chops. The wine list has a number of reserves that lean French, while the few desserts are housemade and include brioche with pear confit and vanilla ice cream and a sheep’s milk yogurt panna cotta with kumquat confit.
235 W. 12th St.