Step inside Abistro and it’s as if you’ve stumbled into the middle of a lively conversation that’s been going on for days, even years. You’re welcomed warmly, but don’t expect to impose your own rhythm on the proceedings. The cuisine, a fusion of West African flavors and French technique, is the vision of Abdoul Gueye, a Senegalese who opened Abistro with his wife, Cassandra, in 2005. Although Mr. Gueye no longer works the stoves, he oversees nightly service and, his staff members say, adds secret spices to dishes when their backs are turned. Unpretentious pleasures include akara, featherweight cod and black-eyed pea fritters, and coconut plantains, sweet and gooey. A communal atmosphere prevails: the dishwasher might double as garde manger, the manager might be on pastry duty and tables might be pushed together for parties that show up despite the restaurant’s location at the end of a sleepy brownstone block. — Ligaya Mishan NYTimes

Posted in Banquet Halls, Bars & Clubs and Restaurants

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