Romance was in the air last Tuesday night at Bushwick’s French bistro, Mominette, with dim lighting bouncing off the warm, orange-y walls. Tim Bern was playing jazz–it was jazz night, after all. Jazz and absinthe night, that is. DJ Tim, a New Zealand native and part owner of Mominette, just thought the two went well together.
A saxophone and bass player himself, bern aims to have music playing every night of the week for the ambiance. Some nights the dj will play rock, soul and dub while Sunday brunch has featured a live band. But jazz night is strictly jazz.
Mominette opened several months ago, in December of 2012. The menu is still in flux (they just got a new head chef), but the French bistro theme will, of course, remain the same. The restaurant is long and spacious, with an equally intimate yard in the back with vegetation and vine-y metal chairs. There’s also an herb garden filled with rosemary, basil, thyme and a petanque court for tournaments on Mondays.
Mominette wasn’t overly crowded when I visited; numbers at the bar fluctuated from full to just one or two customers throughout the evening. Sometimes it was an older music label executive with his date, at other times a group of the bartender’s friends crowded in. A tired trumpet player came in after midnight ready to unwind. Small groups also came in intermittently to eat, settling in to various corners. One couple was kissing at their table.
The music started around 10 p.m., and Bern said that the night usually lasts until anywhere from 1am to 4am. Tunes ranged from Ella Fitzgerald to Miles Davis to Art Tatum as I got a lesson on the origins of jazz from DJ Tim. We also discussed the ratio of sheep to people in New Zealand–15:1.
If you’re down for intimate jazz and frighteningly easy-to-down absinthe, and maybe for a chat with a sweet New Zealander, check out Mominette on Tuesdays.