Billed as a “cozy, gourmet restaurant featuring global cuisine with French roots,” Bistro Watel’s is now open.

Located in the space of Sharon Hage’s dearly departed York Street, this global bistro features an ever-changing menu that reflects the heritage and travels of its chef/owner, René Peeters. Known for his two Lower Greenville restaurants, Watel’s World Piece Café and Bites Global Tapas and Wine Bar, Peeters has lived in Africa, Southern France, Laos and Greece. Classically trained in French cuisine and armed with an arsenal of travel experiences, Peeters has acquired a unique cooking style that is apparent in Bistro Watel’s offerings.

Menus change daily, but have been known to include whirled peas, oysters and caviar warmed on duxelles, calf brains, duck couscous salad, candied lime and ginger scallops, Mediterranean kabobs and a French-Tex style cassoulet of duck confit with black-eyed casserole.

When asked what drew him to the former York Street space, Peeters replied, “It’s my hood, and I’ve been a fan of that location for a long time … when Felissa and Mike ran it, as well as when Sharon did.” The bar for that space has been set high, and we’re excited to see everything Peeters will do.

Dinner is served at 5–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat., and lunch is 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Thurs. and Fri. Virtuoso jazz guitarist Samuel Walker plays mellow background music on Wednesday nights.

Easter brunch, available from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., will feature the full menu plus egg dishes. Three courses for $29; four courses for $34. Reservations are required.

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