There are only 18 seats at Charc, but that’s ok because the whole restaurant is practically based on the appetizer course, specifically the meats and cheeses (Charc is short for charcuterie). That may be the kind of food that makes you want to linger, but it’s not the kind of food that makes you think “I need a big table and a production of a meal.”
That said, if you’re the kind of person who can make a meal out of a cheese board, you need look no further for your full supper, which is exactly what my beau and I did on Friday for date night. Meats and cheeses is probably our favorite thing. Ever. So the fact that there is an entire restaurant devoted to this is basically heaven. And their happy hour goes til 7:30 PM on Friday – an even more heavenly heaven!
The bar felt roomy so we sat there and ordered wine/beer, making friends with the bartender. We ordered the olives and radishes to start and there’s not much I can say about them. They’re olives.
Next we decided to make our own meat and cheese plate, choosing 4 of each. On the meat front, we ordered speck, serrano ham, an IPA-infused salami, and nduja. The nduja was something completely new to me. I’ve seen many a meat in my day, but never before had I seen spreadable spicy pork salami. It was like spreadable chorizo and probably my favorite meat of the evening. For the cheeses, we got garrotxa, spring brook reading, pyrénées brebis and bonne bouche – an ooooozy creamy goat cheese that was by far my favorite. We also got cornichons and tarragon mustard for condiments. Everything was delicious…it’s meats and cheeses, duh.
Even though we were pretty full from out platter, I couldn’t go to Charc without trying the spaghetti I had seen on Instagram. This restaurant is only about 6 weeks old, yet the reputation of this spaghetti dish was already out there in the world. I would say the pasta was thinner than spaghetti but that didn’t make it any less tasty. There’s an egg yolk in there but it was already mixed in. Basically, the dish is pasta, smoked salmon, crème fraiche, and caviar. Other than the caviar, it was super similar to a simple weeknight dish my French mother used to make when I lived in France. I’ve tried to recreate it myself and never had much luck. This was so close to the dish I remembered that I was compelled to give my compliments to the chef who, by the way, is Danny Brown, the man responsible for the first ever Michelin star restaurant in Queens.
Charc is a lovely, intimate experience. So perfect for date night. And if you walk the 2.5 blocks to the movies afterwards, like we did, you’ve basically set up the most perfect evening.