Food

Bistrot Leo: Low-Key French Fare in the Old Sessanta Space

For Casual-Leaning Dates in Soho

By Ilana Dadras ·
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Photo: Oleg March

The trendy restaurant occupying the first floor of Sixty Soho hotel has just gone French.

But what we've got here is more of a face-lift and cuisine shift than an entirely new concept: while many of the design elements and feel of the space remain the same, restaurateur John McDonald has pulled a 180 on what you may know as Sessanta and converted it into a casual-leaning French-style bistro.

Bistrot Leo is its name, and it's open as of tomorrow. 

In the same vein as his other restaurants Lure Fishbar to El Toro Blanco, Bistrot Leo will be a place for quality food in a beautifully designed, not-too-stuffy space. The French influence is strong, but it feels like France done up Soho-style: the checkered floors and art you may find in a casual café in Paris, but in a labyrinth of rooms lined with velvet and leather booths that feels quintessentially Downtown. Grab happy hour with a friend in the enclosed front terrace, or come with a group and claim one of many large booths in one of the rooms farther back. 

They've got chef Brian Loiacono in the kitchen: a Bar Boulud alum who also worked as executive chef at DB Bistro Moderne, and is now the man responsible for the casual French fare found here. A couple musts: the spicy steak tartare with lilliput capers, dressed with bone marrow-dijon sabajon, and the foie gras, mastered after years of making it for Boulud. Oh, and an unexpected favorite was the glazed carrots—so go ahead throw those into your order as well.

To the slideshow, for some visions of the space and what you'll be eating there.

Bistrot Leo, opening tomorrow, 60 Thompson St (between Spring and Broome), 212-219-8119, see the menu and see the slideshow

Ilana Dadras passes her days writing about good food, talking about good food and consuming good food. Occasionally doing other things, too.

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