Monday, July 09, 2007

Tooting Tout Va Bien

I have been here before and it remains my favorite, in the theater district, place to have a cocktail and a meal.

Tout Va Bien

It is a wee bit off the beaten path and right across the street from The House Of Brews, a more than decent place to pop into for a beer.

Tout Va Bien translates to "All Is Well," and once you enter and order up your first cocktail, a Bombay Martini, in my case, all is indeed well.

All Is Well

Interestingly, Tout Va Bien is also the name of a 1972 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin that starred Jane Fonda and Yves Montand. It was about a sausage factory.

Be that as it may, this Tout Va Bien has been around for over fifty years and is, essentially, a family operation. Everyone is very friendly, from the bartender to the waiter. The atmosphere is decidedly casual which makes it a fun place for either an intimate dinner for two or a larger gathering. The food is quite good. Although I usually have the hanger steak, this time I decided to try the tripe. It was delicious, and not a dish you see on too many menus. Next time I go back I will have it again, by golly.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman's family likes going here as well and on this occasion we had most of them. Not one was disappointed and The Mysterious Chinese Woman's mother has now added Coq au Vin to her list of favorite dishes.

Everyone seems to like the desserts too. I broke with tradition, tradition being an after dinner drink, and had a creme brulee. The crust wasn't as crunchy as I like, but it was very good.

I think my brother-in-law Jim is practicing to be a paparazzi.


As a side note, they make very good Manhattans too. They didn't have Maker's Mark, my usual, so they used Jim Beam instead. Not bad at all and I will try them again. The Mysterious Chinese Woman was undecided about what she wanted so the bartender whipped her up a concoction of his own, something similar to a Cosmopolitan but different enough to notice. It met with her approval.

There is also a small outdoor seating area if you are so inclined and the weather is nice. I might sit out there and have a glass of wine or two, but I prefer the inside for serious eating and drinking.

Tout Va Bien is located on 51st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues (closer to 8th), about a block west of Broadway. This makes it convenient for those going to a play, but remote enough to avoid the huge crowds, mediocre food, and high prices that you can find if you aren't careful.

Tout Va Bien in New York