Charlemagne, a European-American brasserie, opened up in April in the West Village. The Edwardian-inspired bistro features a quaint interior, with two windowed walls, antique brick and mahogany, along with honeycomb floors and a breathtaking restored tin chandelier. Although the restaurant is owned and operated by restaurant veteran Vanessa Recipe, it still has some kinks to work out — namely, the menu options. While the service is great, the restaurant is currently in the process of changing their menu and does not have many of their current menu offerings available.
That being said, the food is great. Executive chef Jodi Bernhard expertly concocts French-American dishes such as Fava Bean Risotto and Bar Steak Frites. Additionally, the restaurant is known for its raw bar selections like oysters, lobster, shrimp, littleneck clams and mussels, all available with a plethora of sauces to choose from. Charlemagne is still awaiting its full liquor license, but in the meantime it is serving a large selection of domestic and international wines.
While the food and atmosphere are both enjoyable, the experience is somewhat forgettable. However, we do have high hopes that Charlemagne will step up its game with its new menu and become a welcome spot in the West Village.