1/2 I never eat in Soho, mostly because I’m never in the neighborhood. But there’s always a sense of style over substance, as well. Café Noir strikes me as one of those good enough restaurants, more geared to sustaining drinkers with passable Moroccan/Spanish/Middle Eastern/French bistro nibbles.
I knew I was in trouble when I ordered steak tartare and the waitress felt the need to explain, “you know that’s raw, right?”
And the customers weren’t much better. Bare feet don’t belong in a dining establishment and they most definitely don’t belong atop the long shared booth, inches from my leg. The offending appendages belonged to a sweet young girl who seemed very interested in probing her Swiss “date” about his income and career goals. When he mentioned that he might just go back to school, she then offered up that she had an investment banker boyfriend. Clearly, this dinner mate wasn’t enough of an upgrade to maintain her façade.
The merguez wasn’t half-bad, though I felt like the scoop of couscous should’ve been warm since the carrot salad was also cold.
Seafood croquettes were ok too.
Cafe Noir * 32 Grand St., New York, NY