Best Tip-of-the-Hat to Escoffier: L’Antagoniste
Although the name references France’s pioneering social, political, and cultural disruptors, L’Antagoniste has no intention of challenging the status quo through food. If anything, the charming newcomer is intent on honoring classic French traditions and techniques, by offering up entirely unaltered, non-ironic takes on archetypal, century-old dishes like lobster thermidor, tournedos rossini, blanquette de veau, duck a l’orange and even grenouille—i.e., frogs legs—the tiny joints crossed over a salty pool of cod brandade, and swiped with a celery foam. Not that the Bed-Stuy restaurant is entirely without whimsy (it takes grands testicules to serve soufflé fromage, foie gras on toast, and $25 plates of poulet roti with gratin dauphinois directly across from a Crown Fried Chicken). Cheeky touches abound, from the grinning headshot of Pete Wells, surreptitiously tucked into a wall-sized collage of revered French rabble-rousers, to the wallpaper in the bathroom, patterned with cavorting threesomes captured mid-coitus.
238 Malcolm X Boulevard, Bedford-Stuyvesant