Gallery: Buvette in the West Village: Jody Williams Does French (Well)

Oxtail Marmalade ($8)
Oxtail Marmalade ($8)

Oxtail "Marmalade"—essentially braised oxtail shreded and mixed with its reduced juices—has become a staple at bistros and steakhouses. At Buvette, they serve oxtail marmalade without the quotes—the oxtail is quite literally cooked down with citrus rinds, giving it a unique bitter-sweet flavor that's seriously addictive.

Brandade ($8)
Brandade ($8)

The assertive brininess of salt cod whipped together with potatoes. It's like cold croquette filling intended to be spread on toast, and fantastic if you're a salt cod fan (we are).

Aligot Tartine ($7)
Aligot Tartine ($7)

Traditionally, Aligot potatoes are made by beating cooked potatoes with cantal cheese and fresh curd until it achieves the consistency of stretchy melted mozzarella. Buvette's is decidedly more stodgy and mortar-like, though tasty nonetheless.

Beets w/ Horseradish ($8)
Beets w/ Horseradish ($8)

This is what good country cooking is all about:three basic flavors—beets, crème fraîche, horseradish—stuck together in a perfectly balanced and perfectly simple dish.

Pork Ribs ($12)
Pork Ribs ($12)

Intensely porky, but also a bit undercooked, requiring a bit of chewing with little nuggets of slightly rubbery fat. The beans soaking in the pork juices at the bottom of the bowl are the best part of the dish. Or maybe that's the beans on top of the pork: moist but crusty, like the top of a good cassoulet.

Burrata ($8)
Burrata ($8)

Yeah, it's an Italian cheese, but so what? The one at Buvette was about as good as it comes; a tender shell of mozzarella around a not-quite-liquid-not-quite-solid ooze of curd in the center. It's always nice when a passion for good cheese service manifests itself so clearly on a plate.

Caillettes ($12)
Caillettes ($12)

Halfway between a meatball and a French saucisse de tolouse, they're made with veal, pork, and beef, but their flavor is dominated by the chunks of cured pork mixed into them in a very delicious way. Wrapped in translucent caul fat before being baked, these self-basting balls come out tender with a slight, snappy outer crust that's not unlike that of a great hot dog. Use bread to sop up the garlic and herb-scented juices in the bottom of their roasting vessel.

Manhattan ($14)
Manhattan ($14)

Generous and perfectly mixed. Housemade maraschinos are a nice touch.