I would like to open up a restaurant inspired by my travels, and aside from the fact that I can’t cook and have no head for business, it would certainly be a roaring success. New York restaurateurs Carlos Suarez and Mark Barak were similarly moved by a trip through Provence, and with Suarez’s experience from his popular West Village venues Rosemary’s and BOBO to call upon, they decided to relive the magic of their journey by opening Claudette, in nearby Greenwich Village.
The alluring Claudette is a blend of southern French and North African cuisines, styled by Dekar Interior Design to recall the elegant homes of the Provence region. A summery white scheme is augmented by hand-painted tiles and decorative terracotta flooring, and salvage materials play their part too; the wooden flooring is made from 100-year-old barn timber. One is compelled to imagine who the eponymous Claudette might be – perhaps the proprietor of a charming Provençal bistro, discovered by chance on a slow country drive – and there’s a fine selection of Bandol and Chateauneuf-du-pape to enjoy while the mind wanders on its flight of fancy.