218 Third Ave., New York (Gramercy)
This neighborhood bistro, flaunting cuisine française rejuvenated with a bright and bold Senegalese makeover, is not to be overlooked. Right off the bat, we caught ourselves slurping a fiery mussel bath with soup spoons, lemongrass stalks and all, while using tiny toast rounds like sponges to mop up buttery bread crumb topping from an escargot dish’s hard to reach nooks and crannies. Entrees are strong and serious down to the spicy details: tart onion jam and rich couscous adorn mains like carefully chosen accessories.
Kasbah lamb shank with merguez
Poisson braise a le Guet Ndar
view full menu here
A vast mix of ages tucking into meat and potatoes and two-for-one house martinis in exotic flavors like bissap, a hibiscus tea and national drink of Senegal.
... on the side
what’s in a name?
The name Ponty comes from what Chef Cisse describes as the cosmopolitan “5th Avenue of Dakar,” packed with busy shops, restaurants, and bars.
on the stereo
Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang's "Kill Me with Bongo" album, featuring frantically paced dance music from Sierra Leone.
LOUD—open front windows welcome in the hustle and bustle of Third Avenue.
Mon–Fri 11 AM–11:30PMt; Sat-Sun 10:30 AM–11 PM
$12 (Ponty burger) to $27 (Niokolokoba)
218 Third Ave. (between 18th St. and 19th St.; subway: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R to 14th St.–Union Sq.) , New York, NY 10003; 212-777-1616