Annabelle Goodman –
When I first heard that Cantine was closing I went into a depression. Happily Joe Bersani and Bart Pocock have newly opened Nord in the premise of the former Bistro Tournesal. They have renovated this charming spot and made it even more inviting. It is a small restaurant and the place was filled completely. We were offered places at the bar and were uncertain if that would be satisfactory. I highly recommend it and will only request the bar area from now on. There are 6 high stools and a table for 2 in this exclusive area behind the main dining room. It is charming and very comfortable. We had the chance to chat with Robin, the beautiful and attentive server. We became chummy with the others sitting in the area. It was never too noisy and we had the feeling of dining in a cozy tiny restaurant.
Cantine was noted for exceptional tasty fine food and very fair prices. Happily, the tradition continues. It is a great menu and features many of the favorites from Cantine. The Pan Seared Blue Crab Cakes are served with mustard aioli. Grilled Calamari is prepared with a chili maple glaze. Toasted Goat Cheese Rondelle is served with a beet pear terrine. It was such fun to watch the creative plating of fine food being delivered to the tables. Moules Frites have always been popular. Pernod, candied fennel and crème is just one version. White wine with fresh herbs, shallots and garlic is also a favorite. This is perfect as a meal or an appetizer.
I always enjoyed the Spaghettini with Tiger Shrimp in lemon olio with wilted arugula. Penne with Chicken smoked tomatoes, wild mushroom and tomato crème is a favorite. There are five Pasta options on the menu. Pasta is al dente and the sauces are superb.
I was in a Grilled Salmon Fillet mood. It was served with a green olive almondine with perfectly prepared carrots, potatoes, green beans and bok choy. The salmon was exquisite. It was so soft, moist and flavorful. I enjoyed it all immensely. My friend opted for the Pan-Seared Calves Liver with caramelized onion demi. It was a generous portion. The two pieces of liver were tender and very tasty. Braised Lamb Shank with a vintage port reduction and seared Muscovy Duck Breast with a blueberry demi are options for a main course. A 10 oz New York Striploin is served with frites. My experience has always been superb food and friendly service. My friend and I were prepared to discuss the excellent film we had just seen. We laughed after we realized we did nothing but praise the food and the establishment.
Every plate was a work of art. We enjoyed our dinner immensely. The followers of Cantine are guaranteed to come to Nord. I predict a very successful restaurant in this Annex spot. Nord is named for the restaurant that is north from the previous Cantine. Nord also recognizes the co-owners Scandinavian heritage. This new spot has only been opened for 2 weeks. It was full with a boisterous crowd.
Everyone was so friendly. The place is delightful. The menu offers a wide choice of favorites from Cantine as well as some new suggestions. We wished we had room to sample a Dessert. Salted Chocolate Torte was very tempting. I have always enjoyed the Apple Crumble and Crème Brulee. The outstanding food will make this an Annex favorite.