Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 04/09/2014
Tiramisu cake. Courtesy, Mountain Bird
- more in dining/
231 W. 145th St., 212-281-5752, Harlem, Manhattan
This tiny French bistro in Harlem, run by a Japanese husband-and-wife team, is cause for an expedition. Mountain Bird is charming, from the lace curtains, monogrammed china and decorative birds perched overhead to the warm welcome from Keiko Tajima, who oversees the 19-seat space. Her husband, Kenichi, a native of Tokyo who mastered French cooking and baking at Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro, lends a light touch to consommé soup with a foie gras dumpling and duck breast and leg confit with seasonal vegetables and huckleberries. The bird theme is carried through from beak to tail, featuring cockscombs, gizzards and liver pâté as well as less daunting, though no less delicious, chicken schnitzel. Double-layered cheesecake and sticky toffee walnut fig cake are also worth the journey. Secure a dinner reservation or get here early for Sunday brunch, when it's walk-ins only.