“Peel me a grape!” Mae West famously bellowed in the film, I’m No Angel. Guests at NoHo bistro Le Philosophe might feel just as pampered when ordering the frog legs ($15) as the they arrive de-boned and ready to eat. That’s right: no bones about them, which allows a brand-new appreciation of the famously French delicacy. The de-boning isn’t the only delight in this dish, however. The plump limbs swim in a wonderfully garlicky watercress puree, mingling with the earthen complements of sunchoke and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. Hassle-free and extraordinarily tasty … what could be more desirable?
Le Philosophe opened in November 2012 to fill a French void somewhere between “Balthazar and La Grenouille,” as Ligaya Mishan said in The New York Times. Chef Matthew Aita’s own philosophy seems to border on classicism, with a menu that pays homage to retro-archetypes such as lobster thermidor ($36), duck a l’orange ($29) and blanquette de veau ($28). The ash-colored interior feels a little existentialist, with portraits of thinkers like Sartre staring down at patrons, but all the more for the food to vibrate on the plate and palate. One thing is for sure: We’re all about a thought process that blends ease with enjoyable eating.
55 Bond St.