I had been recommended to dine at Buvette on Grove Street in the West Village by a good friend.  One look at their sweet website and the deal was sealed.  The place is small, takes no reservations, and is basically French small plates.  Ambiance is banging, and so is the vibe.  Service is French, as in, could be more attentive, but it looked to me that they could have used another waiter or set of hands despite the smallish size of Buvette.  But that is not that big of a deal.  The food was very good, but on a cold night, many of the dishes were not hot dishes (I am not sure the actually have a full kitchen?).  The Brandade for example, was cold; I’ve never heard of a cold Brandade before?  But all in all the food was pretty solid and the small plates meant we could sample a lot of the menu.  As for the wine list, it is a well designed little book, and there were approximately two if them because they are so nice that patrons tend to steal them.  But the wine list is well chosen with a few choices from most major and some minor French regions.  Italy is represented a bit too for good measure.

Martha Stewart was also in the house that night if that means anything, as I am sure it will mean different things to different people.  A further note on the wine list, it was nice to see there was a good selection of attractively priced bottles, not just three figure trophy wines as the table next to us ordered (this was not Martha’s table, they looked like tourists perhaps).  I offered to let them taste our Burg for their more expensive Burg and they scoffed, as I am sure they would have realized that ordering the most expensive bottles does not always mean you are getting the best.  They seemed preoccupied with wanting the most expensive Champs and Burg rather than really knowing what they were ordering or bothering to ask for a recommendation.  They left most of their three figure Burg in the glass when they left too, and I was tempted to reach across and steal a sip but I didn’t want Martha Stewart to see me and think badly of me.  The wines were a trifecta, all great new discoveries.

In the wine department we decided to keep it French and kicked things off with a Cote de Brouilly, Beaujolais from Chateau Thivin (a Kermit Lynch wine).  I have seen this attractive label around town and finally got to try some.  It is now on my short list of best Beajolais producers, and it is a classic, and was instantly loved by all, as a good Cru Beaujolais should be.  Next I did something which I have rarely done, I ordered a bottle of Burgundy.  I think the Rémi Jeanniard 2006 Morey Saint Denis “Villes Vignes” may be my turning point into being converted from a Burgundy skeptic into a Burgundy lover.  I am swallowing my pride as a Burg-Hater and going out on a limb to say I loved this wine.  It has some great tertiary stuff going on with notes of tea, mushroom, and iodine mixing with with savory red fruit.  Reminded me of my beloved traditional Rioja.  And we headed south for the final bottle, with a great 2004 Gigondas “Cuvée Tradition” from Domaine du Gour de Chaulé (a Neal Rosenthal wine).  Great savory Rhone character and a nice delicious factor again made this a crowd favorite.