The French tend to lend an element of class to much of what they do, say, or above all, eat, which extends to their canon of cold weather comfort foods (whereas we’ve got meatloaf and mac and cheese, their culinary credits include coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon). And, just in time for winter, a brand new Greenpoint bistro, Le Fond, has added a soupçon of chic to the scattered offerings on Norman Avenue—which, yes, also includes a nearby outpost of the noodle casserole-worshiping Brooklyn Mac.
A first time venture for Le Cordon Bleu grad, Jacob Eberle, “le fond”—which literally means “the deep”—translates here to “stock,” revealing a deep-rooted respect for the foundation—the depths—of classic French cooking. But instead of having been raised on haute cuisine in Paris, or having grown up picking lavender and herding sheep on the rugged coasts of Provence, Eberle is actually a native of come-as-you-are Maine, and his cheerful restaurant reflects as much—boasting baby blue walls, polished windows peering out onto the sidewalk, and sturdy wooden tables manufactured by his dad.
You’ll hardly need a roving sommelier to navigate the wine menu, which, with the exception of a few splurge-worthy French bottles, includes two or three affordable options by the glass (Le Saint Andre Vermentino, Sud Absolu Côtes de Rhone Rouge), although no one will look at you sideways if you go for the beer—an assortment of Greenpoint-sourced bottles and cans.
And far from standing on ceremony with his food, Eberle eschews tweezered, fussy flourishes for rustic French farmstead fare, exemplified in burnished breasts of chicken, stuffed with melting, earthy duxelles, a traditional daube de boeuf; a red wine-braised stew paired with glazed root vegetables; and a killer cassoulet—starchy cannellini beans cooked in chicken foot stock, and topped with squares of duck leg confit flavored with juniper berries, diamonds of housemade pork and fennel sausage, and fat-ribboned hunks of slow roasted Berkshire pork belly, zapped with chili powder and cumin. Of course, like any good neighborhood bôite (in Brooklyn, at least), there’s also a juicy, griddled burger cloaked in dill pickle sauce, the beef obtained from New York’s own answer to D’artagnan’s Ariane Daguin—that would be monsieur Pat La Frieda—ideally accompanied by a perfect pile of fries.
Yep, those French sure do know their comfort food.
105 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint