Savor-Faire

Le Philosophe gives credence to French stalwarts

No one expects the French Revolution in Manhattan in 2013.


Still, peering furtively around the city's whorls of steamed buns, ramen and endless bowls of pasta is a brigade of bistro classics.

The first phalanx attacked at the most excellent Calliope; more recently, a new battalion debuted at Le Philosophe, which has been picking up speed in Noho since November.

There, chef Matt Aita, backed by years working for Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is cooking from the French canon with style.

Rediscover the simple revelry of radishes with butter and salt ($6). Served here with mustard seeds whipped into the butter, you need only slick the roots with butter, dip in fleur de sel, crunch and repeat.

That snappiness finds a counterpoint in the strapping roasted bone marrow–each section capped by a topping of fried panko, Thai chiles, parsley, capers, anchovies and lemon confit ($12). This is as fresh as bone marrow dares to be.

The blanquette de veau ($22) is a glory of veal breast, carrots, radishes and potatoes–all bedded down in its accompanying silky sauce of veal stock, lemon juice, celery salt, crème fraîche and heavy cream.

With such a coup d'état afoot, it's apt that the space housing Le Philosophe used to be occupied by a mod Chinese hand-pulled noodle spot.

Le Philosophe, 55 Bond St. (between Bowery & Lafayette St.); 212-388-0038 or lephilosophe.us