It’s hard to separate the ambience at Satis from the ambience of Paulus Hook, where this wonderful bistro, café, and wine bar is located. We visited on a beautiful Thursday evening in summer. It seemed almost criminal not to sit outside, which we did. Satis offers rustic wood tables, green umbrellas, and the quiet hum of Paulus Hook itself. While you dine surrounded by brownstones, you can also look up and catch the setting sun reflected on the glass of a high rise on the waterfront.
This is an excellent place if you want to have a full meal but your dining companion wants to have lighter fare. Satis is known for its cheese and meat (salumeria) plates, which are perfect if you just want a bite to eat with your cocktail, wine, or beer.
Let’s talk about drinks for a minute. There is a complete wine bar in an attached area. But there is also an extensive list of cocktails and beers. Terri ordered a really elegant (Mad Menish-looking) drink called Southern Peach, which is made from Angel’s Envy bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice, white peach puree, and peychaud bitters. Cisco, our very genial and helpful waiter, also sent over a Mojito.
Appetizers range from a plate of marinated mixed olives to salads, pizza, soup, steak tartare, and vegetables. There was also a special of mussels in lobster broth. We chose two large head-on prawns with chorizo pincho, blistered shisito pepper, and toasted garlic vinaigrette. You don’t have to know what all this means. Just trust your taste buds. It was delicious.
The entrée special was a striped bass fillet with zucchini and corn sauce. It’s hard to describe how fresh this fish was and how intricately these flavors interacted.
And then to be totally healthy, we ordered the cauliflower “steak.” This dish has nothing to do with meat. A large portion of cauliflower is enhanced with roasted pearl tomatoes, watercress and—what really makes it—a “golden raisin pinenut ‘steak’ sauce.”
Other entrees include steak, chicken, fish, and pork, all prepared with the ingredient combinations and accents that are the hallmark of this European-style bistro.
If you choose to eat inside, you will find a warmly inviting white-tablecloth dining room. Satis is famous in the neighborhood for its weekend brunches.
Satis means “enough” or “satisfied” in Latin. You will definitely be satisfied, but you can never have enough of this elegant but friendly Jersey City eatery.—Kate Rounds