A little over a month ago, chef John Broening took over the stoves at Le Grand Bistro and Oyster Bar. The classically trained chef set out to give the food at this downtown restaurant a major facelift. Broening changed menus and recipes, trained the kitchen staff in the new offerings, and worked tirelessly to achieve the desired identity of the eatery: a ?21st century bistro? with a French menu that changes with the seasons and reflects the foods of various regions in France.
The changes are visible and they go beyond what's on the plates. Broening brought his personal version of a juicing program to Le Grand Bistro. There are three to choose from: the Vert, the Soleil, and the Citronelle. "I put the juices on the menu because I prepare them for myself and Yasmin [Lozada-Hissom, his wife and pastry chef/owner at Spuntino] at home every morning," Broening revealed.
The bar quickly integrated the juices into the lunch and brunch offerings. "Each drink on the menu has its own appliance: the Vert and the Soleil each have their own juice extractor and the Citronelle is made with a manual juicer," Broening explained.
What exactly is in these juices? The Vert is made with spinach, celery, whole lime, apple, and a house-made rosemary black pepper syrup. For the Soleil, carrot, stonefruit, ginger, lemon , and simple syrup are used. The Citronelle (the French word for lemongrass) uses grapefruit, lime, and lemongrass syrup.
"I try to give each drink the rounded flavors I like to give to my savory dishes," said Broening. "What I like about juicing is that it gives a steady, stable shot of energy, not the soar/crash you get from coffee or sugar," he added.