By Christine Gritmon
Stephane Kane and his wife, Maria Caruso, owners of City Island’s phenomenal BistroSK, have brought their delicious French cuisine, warm hospitality, and je ne sais quoi to Westchester, opening Bistro Parisien in the former Jackie’s Bistro space.
While still intimate, the space and the kitchen are both larger than that of BistroSK, enabling a more extended menu. “With a French bistro, there is a core you have to have; for example, you have to have the French onion soup, escargot, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon…” says Kane. Bistro Parisien’s additions include filet mignon and the restaurant’s signature dish, Cassoulet Toulousain, a rich, slow-cooked bean stew that includes sausage, duck, cotechino, and pork. Daily specials include at least one fish and one meat, depending on what the chef finds at market; past finds have included trout, lobster and veal kidney. All wines at the restaurant are French — at the moment, they only carry a handful of choices, but Kane hopes to expand that selection in the future.
Kane designed the space himself, inspired by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The gorgeous hand-painted flowered tables have been in the space for four restaurants now, but their unique tops were covered with cloths for many years; they are now uncovered, inspiring the restaurant’s entire color scheme. Each table is also topped with a different set of quirky salt and pepper shakers from Kane and Caruso’s extensive personal collection. Fresh flowers arranged by Caruso adorn the bar, and a large Art Nouveau poster hangs on the wall beside. Mismatched mirrors and pendant lights, all united by their Art Deco style, add a quirky charm to the space.
After attending culinary school in his native France, Kane worked as a service manager for big names such as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Francois Payard and Mario Batali before opening BistroSK with Caruso in 2009; Bistro Parisien followed this past July. “My motto is very, very simple: I focus on the quality of the food and the quality of the service, as simple as that,” says Kane.
“The whole point is to not only have people enjoy the food, but to have a good dining experience, to feel welcome, to feel warm, to feel like friends,” adds Caruso. “You come back to see us because you like our food, but you also like the atmosphere and how we greet you and treat you.”
Bistro Parisien, 434 White Plains Road, Eastchester. 914-337-8447. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Great for: Date night, solo dining, romantic, dinner with grandparents, special occasion dining.