The chef is Matthew Hamilton, who got his comfort credentials at Prune and rustic credentials working on a Tuscan farm. He tried to put them to use two years ago at Uovo in the East Village, which turned out uneven food and failed. Belcourt is much better, perhaps because he and its owner, Mehenni Zebentout, have instituted a shorter menu. - Frank Bruni
When Belcourt opened in my neighborhood, I was excited to have a spacious, well designed outdoor alternative to Wine Bar and Maryanne's, neither which is very good.
However, the menu boggled my mind and I became nervous. It was almost what I wanted to eat, but not quite. Each dish described always had one additional element that didn't fit in my mind. So I waited, and they tweaked.
Finally, months later when the weather turned nicer, they opened the French doors out into the street, added bistro tables outside and started a happy hour 5-7 pm that rocks. 1/2 price glasses of wine and $5 hipster cocktails, $5 Cesar salad (best Romaine I've had in many summers), $10 for 1/2 dozen oysters, $12 cheese plate and many more food bargins make for a great snack and a drink after work.
The staff seems a tiny bit depressed, not sure why, maybe business could be better. But this is a great space and I can't wait until autumn when Belcourt will be the outdoor patio I don't have at my own apartment.
I have never had a meal at Belcourt that wasn't excellent which was made better by the fact that the price is right. The chef is astonishingly creative. The brunch menu is not egg heavy and quite astonishing.