We’re bummed to hear this, since Reynard has long been our favorite brunch spot in Williamsburg. Next month, the team behind the popular Chez Ma Tante will be opening a new bistro called Le Crocodile in its place at the Wythe Hotel. Reynard, the restaurant that opened in 2012 at the Wythe Hotel, is no […]
It is hard to say exactly what kind of food Chez Ma Tante serves, apart from the consistently good kind. The website calls it “food that can only be described as European.” This isn’t particularly helpful or specific; I’ve never eaten anything there that seemed Finnish, say, or Bulgarian. If the menu has a theme, you won’t guess it from the dining room. A collection of brown chairs and black tables on a black floor in an undecorated white room, it is as austere as a Shaker chapel, although one with a long, well-populated bar against the wall.
No hints are forthcoming from the cocktail list, either, which plays it close to the vest with daiquiris, Negronis, Cosmopolitans and so on. It is the first cocktail list I’ve seen in a long time on which I recognized every drink. Other writers have described Chez Ma Tante as a neighborhood spot, a homage to certain well-known London restaurants, a gastro pub and a “French-Canadian bistro.”
The name Chez Ma Tante was borrowed from a stainless-steel slot of a place in Montreal known for its steamé, a steamed hot dog in a steamed bun. An “all dressed” steamé, meaning it’s loaded up with mustard and coleslaw, is a new feature on the brunch menu in Greenpoint. Apart from that and a recurring maple motif — the jugs of syrup on a shelf outside the kitchen are not just for show — the Québécois influence is minimal.