Chef Harold Moore Opens Bistro Pierre Lapin in West Village
Chef Harold Moore and co-owner Julia Grossman opened Bistro Pierre Lapin (99 Bank Street), a bustling all-day, French-inspired, West Village eatery serving time-honored bistro staples with a New York twist. After a distinguished career in French cuisine spanning over 20 years, Bistro Pierre Lapin marks the opening of Moore’s first French restaurant as chef and owner.
Bolstered by an expansive program of housemade breads, cultured butter, terrines, and pâtés, Bistro Pierre Lapin’s menu features a selection of classic French staples in addition to nouveau creations touched with New York sensibilities. Showing a particular interest in produce, Chef Moore will also prominently showcase a selection of seasonal vegetables thoughtfully prepared with care and served alongside every entrée. “The kitchen at Bistro Pierre Lapin feels like a grandmother’s home, where the food is prepared with extra care and in small batches,” says Moore. “I hope that customers feel like they wandered into something special.”
Signature dishes include tableside toasted brioche with flambléed fricassée of mushrooms; housemade foie gras terrine; creamy avocado vichyssoise; classic Croque Madame; Pike Quenelles in herb champagne sauce; Moore’s iconic whole-roasted “Chicken for Two,” served on a bed of foie gras bread stuffing and pommes purée; and roasted Gigot d'Agneau de Pré-Salé with potato gratin and a selection of vegetables (serves 3-5). Spring vegetable preparations include stuffed or glazed baby artichokes, cucumbers, radishes, turnips, and more, in addition to peas with lardons and rotating crêpes stuffed with greens.
As if at a corner bistro in Paris, Pierre Lapin is a trove of treasures painstakingly sourced from the City of Light’s many markets. A portrait of Monsieur Pierre Lapin himself, a smartly dressed bunny hailing from the alleys of Paris, proudly surveys the room’s antique sconces, chandeliers, and stunning heritage back bar. Moore and Grossman looked to their cherished French restaurants and the enchanting history of bistros when designing the space. “We’ve always been inspired by what we find so charming about some of our favorite bistros in Paris, those that preserve the past through little details and exude an unapologetic casualness in ambiance, and we sought to recreate this experience,” explains Moore. “For us, that feeling comes to life by sourcing the most authentic, high quality items, and presenting them in a way that feels honest.”
Punctuated along the walls are plush vintage booths and bistro chairs, a traditional symbol of identity for Parisian bistros, joined by custom-made banquettes and tables from Maison Drucker, a time-honored French workshop where creativity has been passed down generations for hundreds of years. Two walls are adorned with prints of classic pink roses over an ethereal spring green background, titled “Roses de France,” from historic French wallpaper company Zuber & Cie, the last factory in the world to use the 18th-century European woodblock-printing technique with original materials from the time. Accented with floral motifs and rich burgundy, apricot, and green textured hues throughout, Bistro Pierre Lapin’s space welcomes guests with its genuine, comforting atmosphere. “I’ve spent a lot of time on the details of this place – doing research, sourcing hard-to-find items, and scouring markets all over the world,” says Grossman. “There are so many special things in this restaurant, all of which have a story, and they have all come together to create a really warm, welcoming environment.”
Co-Owner Julia Grossman spearheads the ‘All-Day Cafe’ and dessert program at Bistro Pierre Lapin, with a central focus on the beloved viennoiseries and unpretentious sweets served at cafés throughout France. Showcased on display near the back bar, guests will find an array of croissants, biscotti, muffins, scones and more, in addition to an à la minute menu featuring a complete Parisian breakfast, French-style sandwiches, and a yogurt parfait. All-day Café menu highlights include carrot cake madeleines; ham and cheese croissant; egg sandwich filled with chives, truffle, and cheese; and an avocado yogurt parfait with raspberries, toasted nuts, and honey. Highlights from Grossman’s whimsical dessert program include Couer à la crème (serves two); black forest chocolate marquise; and Grandmother’s Blueberry Tart. Service will continue through lunch, happy hour and dinner, with various options for bites and drinks. “We really want this to be a neighborhood restaurant, where people can stop by for coffee and a pastry, drop in with their dog for a free treat, schedule a meeting, enjoy a glass of wine and complimentary cheese plate, and of course, join us for a special dinner,” describes Grossman. “Everyone is welcome for any occasion they need; our doors will be open.”
Grossman also oversees the beverage program with a special focus on French liqueurs and other distinct spirits, alongside one of the most thoughtfully chosen collections of French wine in downtown Manhattan. Embracing the history and quality of French liqueurs, guests can expect to find seasonal wine-based cocktails that evolve as the seasons change. Menu highlights include the Dubbonet Spritz and Pamplemousse Martini, with many others encompassing a French twist on New York classics.
“This project is different from anything I’ve done in the past because I’ve shared the entire process with Julia,” says Moore. “It’s a collaboration of our combined interests and ideas, and a mission to reimagine some of the favorite meals we’ve been lucky enough to experience together, only through a New York lens. We want people to leave feeling like they were in someone’s home and spent the whole afternoon over a bottle of wine, indulging in tasty bites, and with great company.”