An Escape to Alsace
Quality French Cuisine at Alain’s Petit Bistro
Tucked away on Main Street in Nyack is an unassuming bistro that you’re likely to stroll right past. But that would be a shame. If you’re lucky enough, you may catch a glimpse of the jovial owner and Executive Chef Alain Eigenmann in the doorway. And if you follow him in, you’ll be magically transported to a cozy French hideaway.
This intimate bistro, reviewed by The New York Times, seats 16 and features rustic wooden tables, hand chosen by Alain from a Brooklyn artist. Adding to the charm are wooden wall sconces crafted from French wine barrels and a windowed partition which Alain repurposed from an upstate NY mansion door. The setting, a glass of Reully or Bordeaux and the soft accordion Parisian music assure you that you’ve somehow arrived in an Alsacian café.
Alain’s radiating warmth and his stories – whether it is about his mother during wartime France or how Sauternes is made and how it completes the flavors of foie gras – naturally makes you want to sit for hours. His irresistible dishes are what keeps his customers coming back. Alain’s menu features some of the highest quality French classics north of Manhattan, but his seasonal, creative dishes are a stand out as well. The summer menu uses local, fresh vegetables from the neighboring Nyack Farmers Market and features salads with bright red, juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs, as well as a flavorful ratatouille. Come winter, you’ll find hearty stews and rich cassoulets added to the specials.
Most impressive, and instantly noticeable at first bite, is Alain’s unwavering commitment to quality. He will never compromise.
“I don’t do volume, I do quality.”
Executive Chef Alain Eigenmann
This trait was surely engrained in Alain since he began his cooking career at the age of 14. After years of working in various kitchens in Alsace, France, he came to New York at age 24 and worked at famed French bistro, Raoul’s. Alain subsequently opened his own restaurants in Norwood, NJ and Nyack, NY, and most recently opened the Petit Bistro. “It’s like cooking for friends,” said Alain. “I know most of my customers.” Some of them actually bring him fresh produce from their personal gardens.
Jeannine Deramo is a certified Literacy Specialist and freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Rivertown Magazine and author of the Rivertown Retail monthly fashion & shopping column. She is the founder of lifestyle blog Peace & Plenty.
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