Montmartre Brings French-American Cuisine To Chelsea

Tien Ho and Gabe Stulman have the magic touch at Montmartre

Tien Ho is saving this city from its kale-salad shackles, one cavolo nero tarte renversée ($12) at a time.

Not too long ago, the cruciferous kale was a menu rarity; now it is looming Godzilla, casting its craggy shadow across Manhattan's restaurant landscape.

At the new Montmartre, a French-American bistro in Chelsea, Ho flips kale salad on its head. A pastry disc, standing in for the role of croutons, screens ribbons of black kale. Bear down with your fork to fracture the round, at once ruining the presentation and splendidly completing the dish. Toppers of a raw egg yolk and a whorled anchovy combine into the turbulence. What fun.

Other must-tries: Order cassava chips ($8) and the salt-cod brandade ($12) together, and hack the dishes, dipping the puffy-crisp chips into the tenacious emulsion of milk, cream and potato purée.

Ho, a Momofuku veteran, punctuates the outskirts of the menu with jolts of Asian flavor, as in the sexy-sticky square of rice, caramelized pork and yellow beans ($10).

Ho's partner, Gabriel Stulman, is the reigning conjurer of restaurants that make you want to break your lease so that you, too, can be a regular. This spot, Stulman's first outside of the West Village, is no different.