Translation from English

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ponty Bistro "Cute French Bistro" ( but pricey)

A pretty bistro that most people love, a few say --just OK. LOOKS nice...I have never seen it really busy but then I have not been by it that much.  But as I said, the Yelp'ers mostly love ot.

Ponty Bistro

4.0 star rating
205 reviews Rating Details
Categories: African, French
218 3rd Ave
(between 18th St & 19th St)
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: Gramercy
(212) 777-1616
Photo by Zinat M.
leg of lamb
9 of 71
Nearest Transit Station:
3 Av (L)
23 St (4, 6, 6X)
14 St - Union Sq (4, 5, 6, 6X)
Mon-Fri 9 am - 12 am
Sat-Sun 8 am - 12 am
Accepts Credit Cards:
Price Range:
Good for Groups:
Good for Kids:
Waiter Service:
Outdoor Seating:
Good For:
Full Bar
Noise Level:
Casual, Intimate, Romantic
Has TV:

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205 reviews in English

  • Review from

    Brooklyn, NY
    7/26/2013 3 photos 1 check-in here
    I had lunch here on Thursday (7/25) and had the entire place all to myself! Perfection.

    I was greeted and served by the owner of the restaurant. He was pleasant and had a nice sense of humor. The restaurant is very cozy and familiar, a great space for a date or even group dinners.

    I ordered the truffle mac & cheese to start, the poisson braise a el guet ndar which is a braised whole Branzino with salad and sweet plantain, and the homemade tiramisu for dessert.

    This was my first time eating anything with truffle oil and I must say, I do love the flavor. The mac and cheese was cooked to perfection, extra gooey and cheesy- just how I like it.

    OMG. I nearly passed out when I tasted the Branzino. It was probably the best meals I have had in a LONG LONG time. The fish had a nice crispy skin and the inside was moist and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The salt from the fish mixed with the sweetness of the fried plantain was the most beautiful composition of flavors. All I kept whispering was "Oh My God" as I was eating. Down to the last bite, so freaking amazing. Even now I'm drooling just thinking about it! The acidic flavors from the salad dressing also finished off each bite perfectly.

    The tiramisu was absolutely the perfect end to my lunch at Ponty Bistro. This was my first time having tiramisu and I am so happy that my first experience was so delicious. Damn near orgasmic! The whip cream, chocolate and cake was perfectly moist and bursting with sweet goodness.

    UGH... I'm going back next week, I can't take it....
    • Appetizer: Truffle Macaroni & Cheese
    • Poisson Braise A Le Guet Ndar : braised whole Branzino with…
    • Homemade Tiramisu
    Listed in: YUM!
    Was this review …?
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 7/28/2013   
    Tiffany, your review put a smile on my face. It was a… More »
  • Review from

    • 0 friends
    • 1 review
    Brooklyn, NY
    My lunch at Ponty Bistro was wonderful.

    The restaurant was pretty empty, so I got no feel for the normal atmosphere, but the service was spot on, the food was really, really good and my West African mate who was dining with me agreed that we will most definitely be back.

    Great food, awesome service and I hear on Friday's and Saturday's they have live West African music, which I am sure will make the experience even more brilliant.

    Ponty Bistro is now one of my go to restaurants in Manhattan.
  • Review from

    • 13 friends
    • 43 reviews
    New York, NY
    The only reason why I'm giving this place 4 stars instead of 5 is because I honestly wasn't wowed by my mussels. I know and love mussels, and make them chez moi every Tuesday, and yeah, they were good, but not very good or incredible. The sorrel martini was meh.

    The dessert, however, was AMAZING. It wasn't what I was supposed to get, according to the menu, but it was delicious. I ordered an ice cream sundae. What I received instead was cinnamon (!!!) ice cream covered in walnuts and honey. INCREDIBLE and absolutely delicious. I happen to be writing this review on an hungrily empty stomach and I can seriously taste that wonderfully original, cold-yet-hot, savory and delectable cinnamon-y sundae. I will never forget it.

    And now for all the real reasons why Ponty Bistro is great:

    The service is fantastic. They give you bread, and then more and more. They come back with the water. They let you chill and hang out.

    And then.

    And then all of a sudden you're having a conversation in some mix of English, French and Wolof with the chefs and the waitresses about Senegalese politics and culture and Barack Obama and the new hotspots in Dakar and immigration and where to get dry sorrel leaves and when are you guys coming back and for how long were you in Senegal and for how long have you been in America, and suddenly you feel like you've just made some great friends.

    And they're on SAVORED and Groupon, which is a wonderful added bonus, but even at absolutely full price, Ponty Bistro would be worth it.

    Stop reading my rambling and just go. GO ON. GO.
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 7/22/2013   
    Missy, your review is the best thing I've read all day.… More »
  • Review from

    • 58 friends
    • 11 reviews
    New York, NY
    This is my go-to resto in NYC. Whether you want to have a relaxing weekday dinner or want to treat out-of-town guest, this is a must. I've been lucky that this gem always has a table available when I arrive. One Friday evening, we came in around 8:30pm with a group of 8 and they were able to accomodate us immediately. Though that won't always be the case. This is a place for NYC locals (hence my hesitation with writing this review, but they deserve it).

    I am obsessed with their mussels and they always hit the spot. I always want to try something new, but can never turn down a great bowl of mussels, in which they offer a variety of sauces. I've yet to come here with a friend that was dissatisfied with their meal. Their Senegalese/French menu has something for all palettes (and I've been here with extreme foodies and picky eaters). Wonderful for seafood lovers, because their menu is seafood heavy, but they offer many other things. Their 2-for-1 Martinis are also divine! What a deal.

    Lastly, I want to highlight their exceptional staff. They have some of the friendliest people in NYC working here. They are prompt, kind and personable. The last time I was here we chatted about LAAMB wrestling with one of the staff (not sure who he was exactly) and he even shared some youtube videos via iPad. I felt as if we were being entertained and dined at someone's personal home.

    There are many other highlights and perks about this place, but I leave that for you to check it out. Can't share all their secrets.
  • Review from

    New York, NY
    6/3/2013 1 check-in here
    Went here for brunch on Sunday.  I'm always impressed with omelettes from French places and this is no exception.  Why do the french know how to cook eggs so well?!  Anyway, I love them for it.

    The coffee was good (A+ bringing proper cream and not just milk).  Oh, and there was only one server for the entire (full) restaurant - and he did a GREAT job (and deserves a raise).

    Oh, and my delicious omelette was only $10.

    Will be back.
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 6/6/2013   
    John, your review just made my day. They say the mark of a… More »
  • Review from

    • 44 friends
    • 22 reviews
    West New York, NJ
    7/7/2013 1 check-in here
    Excellent Lobster BLT
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 7/14/2013   
    Thanks for the kudos on the Lobster BLT, Monica! I'm glad… More »
  • Review from

    • 0 friends
    • 7 reviews
    New York, NY
    Excellent (read: AMAZING!!!!!) food, great martini 2x1 specials at $12, friendly staff.

    Absolutely recommend this place. Ideal for a date, but I can picture myself coming here with a girlfriend to catch up or just enjoy the amazing portions of excellent mediterranean cuisine over exotic martinis. (Try the Bissap one, you will definitely enjoy!)
  • Review from

    • 23 friends
    • 61 reviews
    New York, NY
    I love Ponty Bistro because they have perfected three of my favorite things (mussels, fried calamari, and a good cocktail, they offer 2 for 1 martinis), on top of a menu of authentic African-French fusion, and dishes inspired from around the world. The owners and chefs are brothers from Senegal and have worked in renowned NYC restaurants including Daniel and The Mercer Kitchen. They have fulfilled their dreams of opening their own restaurant, located on Third Ave and 19th.

    Ponty Bistro stands out to me because of their diverse menu, offering flavors and dishes from West Africa, France, Asia, Italy, Spain and America. My favorite thing we had: The Moules Africana--made with Senegalese spices,  a shallot-garlic white wine sauce combined with a coconut-milk broth, infused with lemongrass. This mussel dish was an exotic twist on mussels that I have never experienced. Be sure to try their martinis and fried calamari. I'd love to come here again with a group to try more of their enticing menu.

    Menu highlights from around the world:
    Crispy Tuna with cilantro, pickled, soy ginger vinaigrette & wasabi aioli  
    Croquettes De Crab - Crab cake with mango salsa and avocado coulis  
    Lobster Shrimp Salad avocado tempura, baby greens, fennel and lemon vinaigrette
    Roasted Beet Salad roasted beets, blue cheese, walnuts, garnished with sliced of orange & balsamic vinaigrette
    Escargot with a herb garlic butter and cognac
    Shrimp Tabouli - Grilled shrimp with tabouli and tomato vinaigrette
    Pan seared filet mignon, served with asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms and bordelaise sauce
    Five Stars Seafood Risotto with lobsters, shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari
  • Review from

    • 24 friends
    • 39 reviews
    New York, NY
    My husband and I went here for dinner via the Savored reservation, and it was absolutely mind blowingly good! The service was amazing - all servers were very nice/professional and made sure we always had everything we needed!

    The food was just out of this world... it had the feeling of good home cooking with just the right portions. With the French influence, everything also had a richness to it.

    It did start to get busy around 7:30/8PM, but that's a good sign of an awesome restaurant. If you go around 6:30PM the atmosphere is more low key and quiet, which is perfect right after work.

    Can't wait to go back!
  • Review from

    • 7 friends
    • 143 reviews
    New York, NY
    7/15/2013 1 check-in here
    The wait staff are SUPER DUPER nice.  The food is average though.  We had the mussels with African spices and didn't really taste anything.  The wild mushroom risotto was very tasty.  But the clay pot chicken was too salty.  The Crepe with nutella, bananas & strawberries was FANTASTIC!  So, we will try their brunch one day...
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 7/16/2013   
    Elie, thanks for the kind words you shared for my waitstaff!… More »
  • Review from

    • 3 friends
    • 35 reviews
    San Francisco, CA
    A cute little bistro on the East side of town.

    The service was less than spectacular with a not very attentive staff.

    I ordered the hanger steak, which was flavorful but doused with too much sauce.  I went with a large group, so we ordered most of the main items on the menu.  I was able to try a bite of each of my friends' dishes.   The mussels and risotto were probably the best items on the menu.  The other dishes like the seafood spaghetti were average.

    I'll probably try other places in the area before I come back here again.
    Comment from Elhadji C. of Ponty Bistro 6/17/2013   
    It's a surprise and a disappointment to hear that our… More »
  • Review from

    • 3 friends
    • 27 reviews
    Jackson Heights, NY
    4/5/2013 Seated via OpenTable
    Good is very good and different from run-of-the-mill places in NYC, not too expensive, head chef very personable, small and intimate setting, get's busy to go earlier or make a reservation.

    Try a tagine or lam shank.

    Great date place as well.

    Neighborhood gem fo' sho.
  • Review from

    New York, NY
    3/19/2013 1 check-in here
    This place is excellent, but quite pricey. Luckily, we booked our reservation through Savored, so we got 30%, which made a big difference. I believe it was 30% off for 7pm and 15% off at 7:30 for a Friday night. My boyfriend and I each ordered a glass of sangria-- I got white, he got red. Both were very good.. definitely recommend (the white was particularly unique-- pear or something.. yum!) Also, with the 30% off it was only around $6/glass-- AWESOME. For apps we ordered the raved-about crab cake-- it was good and I would get it again, but not the best to share, and the caesar salad, which we also really enjoyed.

    My boyfriend had the Senegalese Chicken (I think that's what it was called) and I got the lobster risotto that was one of the specials. I don't think my boyfriend LOVED the chicken but it was definitely very good. I, on the other hand, LOVEDDDDDD the lobster risotto-- packed with lobster, VERY flavorful, cooked amazingly, but very heavy if you don't like that kind of thing. The risotto was $32/$35 I think, so I'm really glad we had the discount b/c I did not ask how much it was before ordering it.. ouy, my poor boyfriend. We ordered the crepe for dessert-- my boyfriend loved it, I thought it was good, but probably wouldn't get it again.

    The wait staff is extremely pleasant and the chef/owner comes out and talks to nearly every table, but not in an annoying/offensive way. In fact, to his credit, my date and I were deep in conversation and although it looked like he wanted to come over, he had enough sense to just walk by and wait for another appropriate time--very attentive. We will be back.
  • Review from

    Manhattan, NY
    Updated - 3/18/2013
    I had a disappointing experience this past Friday night. I came here with two friends. Two of us got the Lobster BLT...except they forgot the B! Seriously?! We told the waiter that they forgot the bacon for both of us..and he brought bacon only for one. We asked two other people for more bacon and it took almost 20 minutes to get it. how long does it take to bring over bacon?

    When the waiter brought us the check we brought up the fact of the bacon delay and he said he'd be right back. He then came back and said that he couldn't take off one of the sandwiches because the check had already been processed and his boss would get mad...he offered free dessert, but we were already full.

    Poor service.
    Was this review …?

    1 Previous Review: Show all »

    • 1/14/2013
      I am a big fan of this place. I've been here a few times in different sized groups and always have… Read more »
  • Review from

    • 12 friends
    • 86 reviews
    New York, NY
    Everyone customer that walks in the door says they have a reservation so make your reservations.

    The decor inside was very different from the outside. Wish they changed up the outside so people can come in here without questioning what type of cuisine this is. Ladies love a clean bathroom, but this was a unisex bathroom and it was still very clean. Credits to maintaining a unisex bathroom.  (****)

    I started off with the crab cake...a must order. It was deeeelicious. They served bread as a complimentary as well, but you can definitely make room for that crab cake. (*****)

    I had the Lobster BLT which was last thing on the menu, but it caught my eyes like that. Bacon was crispy and not oily. Lobster had its own favor. I was picking if off the sandwich. Might I add... I didn't let one piece go to waste. The bread wasn't soggy either. They toast the bread and so you feel a crunch when you bite into it. It felt so health at the same time so right. I can order a whole bunch of it and never get bored of it. (*****)

    Service was amazing. They were very busy, but never gave us a check to kick us out. I never had to ask for refill for my water because they come before I could ask. (****)

    Ponty will definitely see my face again because I'm coming back for you lobster BLT.
  • Review from

    Who do I sell my soul to for this Wild Mushroom Truffle Risotto?

    I could eat an endless bowl of this, forever

    Forever ever? Forever ever.

    My friends and I still have dreams of this risotto to this very day.

    The Niokolokoba sirloin steak with pepercorn sauce is smashing. Really great food.