The early days of a new restaurant can be precarious.
However, even as the weeks-old Left Bank in the West Village finds its bearings, we've already eaten a few noteworthy dishes there. Here, our course-by-course playbook:
First: Lamb Tartare ($16) Chef Laurence Edelman breaks down his own meat; with his small kitchen, a side of beef was too daunting, so limitation bred inspiration. He turned to lamb, chopping the leg and larding it with capers, anchovies, olive oil, Worcestershire and a wallop of fresh herbs.
Second: Pasta with Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe ($18) The shape of the noodle changes, but its dressing does not. Pancetta is cured austerely with salt and pepper for a month, then Edeleman drapes thin slices of the sublime meat over the hot pasta, where it melds with the bitter greens and a superb sauce of butter, orange zest and pecorino.
Third: Maple-Syrup Pie ($8) Cheers to Edelman's partner, Micheline Gaulin, whose family's Quebecois dessert is alone worth a trip to Left Bank. The crumbly pâte brisée crust is saturated with butter, and the eggless filling courses with heavy cream and the caramel twang of good maple syrup.
Left Bank, 117 Perry St. (at Greenwich St.); 212-727-1170 or leftbankmanhattan.com