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FRENCH BLISS

The Brooklyn Paper
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"We want to be the little place around the corner," says Eric Lagrange, co-owner of the long-awaited Belleville (named for an area of Paris that means "beautiful town") in Park Slope.

The space sat empty for months before Belleville opened in early October. To lure diners into his cafe, Lagrange and partner Alain Deuneulin, offer lightened takes on French brasserie cooking.

"We’re using less butter; no cream. We serve meat cooked on the rotisserie and four different soups each evening," says Lagrange, who adds, "We’re keeping our prices moderate so people can eat here often."

While Chef Joe Elorriaga (at left), who worked for two other Lagrange establishments - Casimir and The Elephant, both in Manhattan - lightens the cuisine a bit, he isn’t afraid to dish out the real stuff - confit of duck, grilled shell steak with frites and beef daube (stew in red wine).

"We shopped in the north of France for authentic mirrors, chairs, the bar - it’s all authentic, all antique," says Lagrange. "We have a good lease. We’ll be here for 17 years."

Belleville (330 Fifth St. at Fifth Avenue) accepts American Express. Entrees: $10.50-$16.50. The restaurant serves dinner seven days a week. Belleville also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am until 4 pm. For reservations call (718) 832-9777.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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