Dirty French is Major Food Group's major f*ck you restaurant. The fellas known for their success with Carbone have taken the usually quaint idea of a French Bistro and turned it on its head. They've dirtied it up, bad assed it out, and are fully going for the Michael Jackson crotch grab. It's brash, it's over the top, and it's excessive. Portions are big, music is loud, egos are everywhere. Pretty much everyone who dines here thinks they're really, really awesome. If you're the type of person who wants to be all up in that hot nighttime action, than this is your spot. This ain't exactly our kind of party though, here's why.
After multiple repeat visits, we've found the the food and the service to be extremely volatile. There are some excellent dishes on the menu - like the flat bread, the lamb carpaccio and the duck à l'orange entree, but others, like the highly touted chicken and crepes, are disappointing. The beverage program is on point. The wine list is well crafted and has some affordable bottles of good juice, and the cocktails, are both a plus.
It's hit or miss on the service. We've had a server who only spoke French and whispered even though music was blasting at level 11. That was miserable. We've also had better experiences, with servers who spoke English and yelled. They're yelling because it's generally incredibly loud at Dirty French, which is why so many people have their phones out at the table - texting is the best way to communicate.
Ultimately, Dirty French is not a restaurant we're racing to come back to. It's the kind of place we'd suggest for a bachelor/ette party, or for some kind of Corporate Card, show the client a good time type of night. While it may be one of the hottest nightlife destinations in NYC right now, there are too many other great new restaurants to get on your Hit List for the purpose of simply eating a delicious dinner first.
Warm pita with olive oil soaked goat cheese? F*cking incredible way to start a meal. Also, this is the best thing about the meal.
Oysters are brought to your table for a line-up, which makes them that much harder to resist.
We liked the lamb carpaccio a lot with its yogurt, charred eggplant and mint mash-up. Unique, tasty, and definitely worth ordering, even if you're not the biggest lamb fan.
Underneath all the spices and dill, there's a nice piece of salmon, served cold, but it's a bit overpowered by everything else going on. Still, it looks damn pretty.
The description sounds incredible: foie with crispy brie and burnt lemon. However, we found their take on foie terrine to be underwhelming. It was obviously rich, but didn't satisfy the way foie has the ability to. This one was more style than substance.
The presentation, with grilled scallions and pork belly speared through a stick, is sure to get some oohs and ahhs from your table, but so will the salad itself. If you're a fan of the classic french lardons salad, this is a must order. Mash the poached egg up all over the salty frisée and tremendous chunks of bacon and enjoy.
AKA Brook Trout, seared in sesame and dressed with dried apricots. Probably one of the more simple dishes on the menu, but also one of the most flavorful. We'd order this again.
Seafood stew with all kinds of action. Pretty tasty. Definitely ask for round two of the flat bread for dunking.
The meat entree to order is absolutely the duck. Crispy skin with meat that's soft and tender. We were really impressed with the different layers to this dish.
The big ticket item at Dirty French. The full bird comes in two waves. First, sliced breast soaked in a heavy mustard sauce, followed by crispy thighs, legs, fully attached feet. In a nod to Peking Duck, it's served with crepes and sauces. The experience is fun and communal, but we've had too many other chicken dishes better than this to get overly exited this one. The breast tends to overcook in its sizzling pot, and is absolutely drowning in sauce.