Brave the trip to a near-abandoned block in the Artists district for Church & State, the latest bistro from the owner of Cobras & Matadors.
A few dark blocks from the bustle of Downtown, this former Nabisco Biscuit Company loft houses vintage brick walls, exposed beams, subway tile and an open kitchen. Candlelight and old school jazz enhance the almost speakeasy feel. Order from the antique bar before sitting down to a small, wooden table, or head to the outside patio where large parties congregate (and smoke) facing the remote, traffic-free street.
You've never seen so many foods that can be spread on bread: mussels in broth; coarsely chopped steak tartare; charcuterie and cheese plates. Grilled flatbreads with tangy pizza toppings like onion and bacon are ideal for sharing if you’re sticking with small plates. If sharing is against your religion, bistro standards such as steak frites, cassoulet and fish dishes fill the bill for full entrees.
The bar serves up a wide variety of drinks to please fundamentalists and agnostics alike, from complex specialty drinks with forgotten ingredients like ginger and Campari to reasonably priced French and California red and white wines by the glass, and boutique beers by the bottle.