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Citroën, 1920s-Inspired French Bistro, Opens in Greenpoint

Citroen at 931 Manhattan Ave. (via Instagram)

Nov. 27, 2018  By Laura Hanrahan

A new French bistro and cocktail bar reminiscent of the 1920s has recently opened its doors in Greenpoint.

Citroën, located at 931 Manhattan Ave., offers a menu that pairs seasonal bistro classics with a variety of wines and cocktails, all within a space designed to look and feel like France during the Roaring Twenties.

Main dishes, priced between $16 and $29, include the “Pat LaFrieda Burger” and the “Steak Frites”–both already proving to be hits among diners, said Dawn Eldridge, partner and general manager at the bistro.

Eldridge said the dishes are made with fresh ingredients all acquired from local businesses, farms and distilleries.

“We’re not about being on a big commercial level,” she said. “We’re about our friends and neighbors and small businesses.”

The bistro’s drinks menu, meanwhile, is filled with both French and American wines and a selection of carefully crafted house-made cocktails. Every cocktail component, from the syrups to the spice blends, is made on-site, Eldridge said. The Auntie Grizelda, for one, is made with serrano pepper-infused tequila, cucumber, celery shrub and cracked black pepper, and has already become a crowd pleaser.

Citroën’s 1920s French style and interior were masterminded by Craig Kafton, the other half of the bistro’s partnership, who lived in France for some time and curated every fixture in the restaurant from repurposed materials.

Kafton built the bistro’s tables himself, while the light fixtures were reclaimed from a variety of locations including cathedrals around the city and even JP Morgan’s original Manhattan office.

Eldridge calls her business partner the “king of recycled goods.”

“Craig’s very much an artist, and he excels in creating things out of reclaimed goods,” Eldridge said.

Kafton’s love for cars also makes up the bistro’s decor and even its namesake, with Citroëns, from the French automobile manufacturer, seen in several posters hanging throughout the space.

The bistro came together relatively quickly for Eldridge and Kafton, who signed a lease for the Manhattan Avenue location earlier this year after coming up with the concept.

Kafton, additionally, comes with a background in the industry. She previously co-owned the now-closed Second Stop Cafe on Lorimer Street, and has worked in many restaurants throughout the city.

Both Citroen partners are Williamsburg residents, which made keeping the restaurant nearby in Greenpoint a no-brainer.

“We love this area of Brooklyn,” Eldridge said. “It’s our home.”

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