Chez Ma Tante may be named in honor of a Montreal frankfurter stand, but it happens to be the ideal Brooklyn restaurant.
Small wonder, considering it’s owned by Josh Cohen and Blair Papagni (bonafide borough royalty), is situated in a window-ringed Greenpoint corner (that formerly housed Jimmy’s Diner and Calyer), and shares unmistakable DNA with their first baby, Anella—which helped forge a blueprint for the ultimate neighborhood establishment.
It also keeps with their tradition of providing an endearingly appointed podium for skilled chefs on the rise—this time Café Altro Paradiso vets, Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber—who could well follow in the footsteps of Anella all-star, Joe Ogrodnek (who went on to open Battersby).
Considering the moniker means “At My Aunt’s,” the atmosphere is suitably non-pretentious, though the fare in no way could be considered especially homespun. Well befitting a French boite, you’ll find pebbled salmon tartare cured with maple syrup and gin, grilled veal steaks paired with creamy, corpulent butter beans, fans of skate wing over sabayon and leeks, and wagyu short rib steak, teamed with wedge-style frites and prune-anchovy ketchup.
Servers are quick to finger personal favorites, and demonstrate equal enthusiasm over a brief but dynamic wine list; describing a chilled, fizzy, natural Oregon Pinot as that “weird, cool girl at a beach party…kicking it with her shoes off. Fun, but with style.”
Sounds like an apt enough description of the charming maison that Cohen and Papagni built.
90 Calyer St, (718) 389-3606, Greenpoint