The Galettes Have Arrived
I love it when very specific, non-ubiquitous local specialty items from faraway places show up on New York menus, so I was intrigued, one morning about a month ago, to discover Bar Breton, a new French place in the Madison Square area that was open for breakfast and serving a very Breton specialty, the buckwheat galette. Bar Breton is run by Cyril Renaud, proprietor of the highly regarded and considerably more upscale Fleur de Sel. To make sure he got his galettes just right, Renaud even flew back to his native Brittany last summer for a refresher course in galette-making.
The galette is a sibling to that other Breton specialty, the crepe. But the galette is made from pure buckwheat flour, giving it a particularly satisfying earthy flavor. Bar Breton serves four varieties of savory galettes ($12-14 each), as well as a dessert version, with whipped cream and honey. While the galette itself is made the traditional way, Renaud does take liberties with some of the embellishments. I ordered the La Guerande, which was stuffed with spinach and mushrooms and topped with a poached egg and shaved parmesan. I also tried a bit of the "Flatiron Edge," topped with smoked wild salmon and stuffed with horseradish creme and chives. Both were delightful and quite filling. I think next time I'll try the Chelsea, which has chorizo, eggs over easy and onion confit.
I'm impressed, too, that each of the different varieties gets a different presentation.
Bar Breton, 254 Fifth Avenue (between 28th & 29th Streets)