Madame Claude Bis Walk down curtained Steps to a Hideaway of fine Wine & French Comfort Food
By Sally Deering
Alice Troietto and Mattias Gustafsson are familiar faces to the Downtown Jersey City crowd; their Madame Claude CafÃ© on 4th & Brunswick brought French cuisine to the urban dwellers who wanted something more than the usual neighborhood fare. Madame Claude CafÃ© has since closed its doors and reopened a bigger and better version of herself just down the street from her old digs.
Meet the new Madame Claude Bis just a few steps off Newark Avenue and down a small stairway where a red curtain beckons hungry city dwellers. Madame Claude Bisâ€™s basement bistro casts low lighting and warm wooden tables and chairs that create a warm and friendly atmosphere. Where Madame Claudeâ€™s CafÃ© seated 32, the Bis (named for how Paris streets are numbered and not â€œbistroâ€) seats 80. The Bis also has a wine list and cocktails, unlike the CafÃ©â€™s BYOB policy. And on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7:30 pm, Gustafsson transforms from restaurateur to balladeer when he and his band, Manouche Bag take to the stage to play gypsy jazz a la legendary Jhengo Reinhardt. The songs are in French and Gustafsson writes most of the bandâ€™s repertoire.