Hotel Chantelle located at 92 Ludlow in New York City’s Lower East Side (near Delancey/Broome Street) is a difficult spot to find. Don’t bother with Hopstop.com or GPS as you’ll be traveling all around from West to East Houston without finding the place and still being told your only five minutes away.
At long last you finally find the venue where you’re told there’s a private party and you’re not allowed into the space. One would think that this is a freak occurrence but other diners were complaining that every time they come in, they receive the same service.
If you’re going to take a chance on this establishment, forgo Thursdays through weekend nights and concentrate those plans on early in the week dining. Despite the treatment, diners who want to try the French Bistro I would suggest staying in the downstairs bar area. The warm and welcoming behavior of Paul Hazen and the rest of the bar crew made us feel right at home and took the sting out of the previous unpleasantries.
Kindness and professionalism goes a long way in this diner’s book as you can have the most enchanting venue but if the experience you have while dining there isn’t up to par, you’re going to walk away with a bad taste in your mouth.
Luckily Hazan changed the course of the night as he and the bar staff made sure to keep our wine glasses full and to periodically check on us throughout the night. Those diners who have a chance to dine under this gracious gentleman are in for a real treat.
Despite not having the full menu experience what we had was delicious and I felt deserved a review. The plating and bursts of flavor from the starters suggested what would have come with the rest of service.
Grilled Octopus and Shrimp are two starters that offered original flavoring and a fresh seafood selection. The Grilled Octopus was a baby Spanish variety with heirloom tomatoes, olives, fresh parsley and smoked vinaigrette while the Shrimp was smoked in paprika and served over peach and mango chutney. A chilled Cape Bleue Rose complemented the dishes and delivered a taste of summer with every sip.
A trio of Lamb, Pork and Beef Sliders slide onto our table with each burger having its own unique roll from olive, pretzel to parker bread. The meat was cooked to perfection and the dining experience was ‘moving’ in the right direction.
In spite of not having the typical restaurant review experience the warmth of the bar staff, really made the night a success. Diners I would suggest that you make sure Hazan is running the bar scene when deciding to stop by Hotel Chantelle. Otherwise, I would have ‘reservations.’