Submitted by Donna Marie 

About a year ago, a friend told me about this new restaurant at the corner of 19th Street and Third Avenue–a place called Ponty BistroWith no shortage of restaurants in New York City, I made a mental note to check it out.  But, I didn’t make it there until roughly six months later when a friend invited me for Saturday brunch.  On that day I experienced Mac ‘n Cheese like no other–at Ponty Bistro it’s called Truffle Macaroni and Cheese.  Now I am among the growing number of regulars at this delightful neighborhood restaurant and I am committed to making it a favorite of everyone I know.

How does Ponty Bistro distinguish itself? 

Maybe it’s the owners and executive chefs — two cousins who moved to the United States from Senegal in 1995 with a restaurant pedigree that includes working with renowned chefs at Daniel Restaurant, Vong and Mercer Kitchen — who have created quite an eclectic menu of delicious offerings reflecting a blend of French, African and Mediterranean specialties.

Maybe it’s the extensive menu of mouth-watering choices at affordable prices that I am working my way through.  So far I am pleased to report that no selection has disappointed.  From appetizers like Crispy Tuna with cilantro, pickled, soy ginger vinaigrette & wasabi aioli, Croquette de Crab (crab cake with mango salsa and avocado coulis), Escargot with herb garlic butter and cognac, Terrine de Foie Gras with toasted baguette and Port wine reduction to entrees such as 5 Stars Seafood Risotto (Lobster, shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari), Carre D’agneu (Roasted herb crusted rack of lamb served with potato gratin, baby spinach and rosemary lamb au jus), Wild Mushroom Risotto with truffle oil, Lobster on a brioche roll with crisp bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and basil pesto, you are sure to find something that satiates.

Maybe it’s the impeccable service and attention you receive from the staff as well as the owners that make you feel like a valued guest of this fine establishment.

Maybe it’s the simply elegant and tasteful environment with colorful, silken accent cushions that bring to mind some exotic destination in Morocco.

Maybe it’s all of the above that makes Ponty Bistro a highly appealing destination in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood.  If you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or you’re planning a special event, take it from me, you want to experience this restaurant for yourself. And when you’re there, be sure to let them know that Donna sent you!  Ponty Bistro, 218 Third Avenue (at 19th Street) New York, NY 10003, (212) 777-1616.