Saju Bistro and Bar - A bit of Provence in the heart of NYC.

Saju Bar and Bistro
120 W. 44th Street
New York, NY
(212) 997-7258

Having dinner with friends Mary Lou Santora and her brother-in-law Bud Santora, we chose Saju Bistro, which was a block away from Town Hall where they were headed for a concert. It's a great choice if you're looking for a restaurant East of Broadway but still within the theatre district. The Belasco Theatre is also nearby as is Rockefeller Center.

Mary Lou and Bud
(NOTE: If visiting NYC and in need of a good hotel recommendation, check out the amazing Beekman and many others to choose from.)

The restaurant boasts that they serve "authentic French Provencal cuisine in a casual bistro setting." And it's true. Charming decor and tables not too close to each other make this restaurant very pleasurable. Add to that, the friendliest service in town and it's a keeper.

Front seating overlooking the sidewalk - great for people watching
My favorite, the back area
We started with a round of appetizers . . .

Tartelette au Chevre Chaud - Warm goat cheese tart

Bud and Mary Lou split an appetizer (there were two tarts) of warm goat cheese tartelettes with fresh herbs nestled into a pastry dough and a small greens salad. Both really enjoyed it. I ordered . . .

. . . the mussels Provencales, with a heavy handed garnish of whole parsley. The mussels were fresh and plump but  honestly, the best part for me is the broth. I was hoping for a bread dunking sauce, which forces me to shout out, "They should bottle this!" But it was rather bland. I was even searching for a hint of garlic, but no such luck. And yes, the parsley was inedible at that size and amount.

On to the main courses, Bud opted for their . . .

Salade de poulet

. . . chicken salad. The salad of mixed field greens, string beans, asparagus, apple and avocado with a lemon vinaigrette. He especially loved the salad.
Mary Lou ordered the . . .

Spaghetti puttanesca.
. . . spaghetti puttanesca. Tossed with fresh tuna, tomato, capers and a rather large basil plant growing out of it (kidding). Between the basil and the parsley, there's a garnish king or queen in the kitchen. But she loved it. And I had . . .

Fettuccine with shrimp and scallops.
. . . one of the night's specials - fettuccine with shrimp and scallops swimming in a yummy and light tomato sauce. I've had my share of parsley for a year now! The dish was delicious. I'll be back to Sajun again. Great locale and food of Provence.

Added points for the floral arrangement in the restroom!

Bon Appetit!

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