French

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte

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Overview:

Steak & fries in an addicting sauce are the only things on the menu (plus booze) at this famed, regal French spot.

Information:

Address:  40 Thompson St, New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 334-2580

Neighborhood: Soho, Midtown East

Price: $$$


 

The Odeon

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Overview:

The Odeon is one of those tried & true Tribeca staples that has stood the test of time since being opened by Keith McNally in 1980. The space is a lively bistro with big chrome banquets, white table clothes and outdoor seating. It feels like old New York in the best way. The menu mainly consists of French bistro classics like oysters, steak frite, frisee salad and steak tartare. Breakfast and lunch are served daily with brasserie favorites like croque monsieur, moules frites and french onion soup. Great for a business lunch, group dinner or solo bar dining. 

Information:

Address145 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Phone:   (212) 233-0507

Neighborhood: Tribeca

Price: $$$


 

Lincoln Ristorante

photo:  Gotham Magazine

Overview:

This Lincoln Center restaurant has been in operation for 7 years. Originally opened by chef Jonathan Beno of Per Se, the restaurant recently exchanged hands and is now being helmed by chef Shea Gallante. The glass walled space is large and elegant, with a sprawling open kitchen separating the 3 dining rooms. The space feels more modern than other upscale venues of its type. Following suit, the deceptively simple menu is contemporary; nothing feels over worked or exceedingly fussy. Beautiful renditions of Italy’s classic dishes are all over the menu like an insanely creamy burrata and perfectly cooked fresh pappardelle & garganelli. Entrees are a decent size, the best of which is the bistecca in padella -sirloin of beef, grilled sugarloaf chicory, spring onions & maitake mushrooms. This meal will set you back, but it is a lovely experience worth having if you want to be a bit fancy for the evening. 

Information:

Address: 142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

Phone: (212) 359-6500

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Price: $$$-$$$$


 

Gabriel Kreuther  


Overview

After years of wild success as the executive chef at The Modern, Gabriel Kreuther struck out on his own and opened his namesake in 2015 north of Bryant Park. The space is elegant with high ceilings & towering arrangements of flowers . A tiled walkway separates the white table clothed fine dining room from the more casual bar with leather banquets. The Alsatian-inspired menu is nothing short of luxurious, with impeccable service to match. The food is very sophisticated & beautifully plated with specks of foie gras, caviar and lobster everywhere. Although the bill is costly, the dining experience is truly a unique one. The popularity of the restaurant proves that fine dining is not dead and can be modernized. 

Information:

Address 41 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Phone:  (212) 257-5826

Neighborhood: Midtown West

Website: https://www.gknyc.com/

Price: $$$$


 

DBGB

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CROSTINI- wild mushrooms, red onion, watercress, ricotta salata

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THAI DOG - pork, green papaya slaw, peanuts, chili sauce, cilantro

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CARBONARA

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THE YANKEE BURGER - 7 oz beef patty with iceberg, tomato & vidalia onion on a sesame bun, essex st. pickle, vermont cheddar, crispy house-cured bacon, fries

 

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Address: 299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Phone(212) 933-5300

www.dbgb.com

Benoit

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Sea bass - avocado, celery

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 Potato Salad

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Charcuterie & pâtés selection -  cornichons & Dijon mustard

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Tarte flambée - Alsatian thin crust, onions & bacon

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Roasted Chicken

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Croque Monsieur/Madame - mixed greens

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Cheeseburger- pomme frites

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Salmon Eggs Benedict

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Proscuitto and Truffle Eggs Benedict

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French toast, fruit

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Yogurt & granola, fresh fruit

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Comté/black truffle coquillette pasta

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French Fries

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Viennoiserie basket -croissant, pain au chocolat, brioche pecan/praliné Kouign-amann, bread with house made jams

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Address: 60 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Phone(646) 943-7373

benoitny.com

Boucherie

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Escargots De Bourgogne - Parsley, butter, lemon, garlic & shallot

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Fritures De Calamar - Fried squid, spicy mayo & fresh lemon

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Steak Tartare - Prime tenderloin, capers, shallots, parsley & quail egg

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Steak Frites Aux Poivres - 14 oz dry aged New York strip, four peppercorn cream sauce & french fries

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Gratin de Pommes de Terre

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Epinards a la Creme

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99 7TH AVENUE SOUTH, New York, NY

Phone: Call 212-837-1616

http://boucherie.nyc/

Dominique Bistro

Picture: laspplash.com

Picture: laspplash.com

Every neighborhood needs a charming French bistro. If you’re taking a stroll down tree-lined Christopher street and find yourself craving such an atmosphere, I highly recommend you pop inside. The interior screams “come have a date here.” The floors and bar are lined with oak, the walls with brick, and the massive floor to ceiling windows make the space feel open and breezy.

The menu is traditional French café fare with country classics. No real surprises here, but you didn’t come to have a culinary adventure. You came because you have a preconceived notion about what is on a French bistro menu and you want it to be given to you. Escargot, steak tartar, and mussels with loads of Bordeax and Burgundy wine. To my delight, they serve brunch 7 days a week and have an ample menu of eggs dishes and croques. Here’s what we had:

Baked eggs - tomato, red and green chillies, portobello mushrooms,

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Madame - prosciutto cotto, gryere cheese, egg

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Pappardelle - portelini mushrooms, brown butter, parmesan, white truffle oil

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 Steak Frites - NY strip, french fries, herbs de provence, whole grain mustard

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Address14 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Phone(646) 756-4145

Menu: dominiquebistro.nyc

Wallflower

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Wallflower is adorable. It’s a tiny café situated in the place that does adorable tiny cafes better than anywhere, New York’s West Village. You can find it tucked just off of Greenwich on West 12th St without a sign out front. Inside the space you’ll find a small marble bar serving great craft cocktails from Xavier Herit previously of Daniel. To your left, the slender dining room is lined with antique mirrors and gold tinned ceilings.

The menu is listed out as though it were my own personal rendition of “these are a few of my favorite things.” The menu is new American, small plates, full of craveable ingredients making it hard to not order every dish, You’ll find things like “hamachi crudo, watermelon, jalapeno, ponzu, shiso” and “trout, corn & fava succotash, lardons.” It is food with wildly complimentary ingredients without pretension or fuss. For brunch, they take a stab at having a menu that is at least marginally less predictable than most other restaurants. I was thrilled to find my childhood favorite, toad-in-a-hole, updated with gooey pimento cheese and thick cut luscious bacon. This is a great place if you want to lay low and have a casual meal in the neighborhood that does it better than anyone. Here’s what we had:

Stick bun, royal icing, thyme

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Heirloom tomato salad, blue cheese, olive croutons, opal basil

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Bacon quesadilla, fried egg, jalapeno, tomato salsa, pepperjack cheese

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Toad-in-a-hole, pimento cheese, double-cut bacon, egg, roasted fingerlings

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Shrimp & grits with smoked cherry tomatoes

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Caramelized bread pudding, drunken cream, Nutela, strawberry jam

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Cookies & coffee milk

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Address: 235 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014

Phone: (646) 682-9842

www.wallflowernyc.com

La Gamelle

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I love me some French bistros & brasseries. I cant get enough of the charm they exude. I am a longtime fan of the wonderful ones we have in NYC like Lafayette, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern & Buvette. Add La Gamelle to that list. This stylish French bistro opened a year ago and I had the ultimate pleasure of dining there last night.

The space is stylish and warm. The lighting is dim, there are low hanging light fixtures and lots of wood. The tables are covered in white butcher paper and the floor is sheets of white tile. There is a long vintage bar in the center separating the dining rooms. On Thursday-Saturday you can find live music in the long and spacious restaurant. In the summer you can sit outside and sip rose champagne on their patio.

The menu is packed with familiar, favorite French bistro fare. You can start with a raw bar platter of oysters and plump clams. The escargot are heavenly, as anything drenched in that much better and garlic should be. The roasted octopus was charred perfectly and served with a great mix of olives and tomatoes. Our entrees were cooked to perfection. We ordered duck and steak frites, both were exactly medium rare and seasoned impeccably. Finally, we had the burger which is one of the best in the city. It is a massive 10oz patty smothered in gruyere, black truffle mayo, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. I will dream of it tonight.

The restaurant has received mixed reviews for its food and I humbly disagree with anyone who has something negative to say about this place. I thought it was warm and welcoming with great food. The staff made us feel like we were at home, and they kept the champagne coming. I highly recommend going. Here’s what we had:

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OYSTERS & CLAMS- mignonette, cocktail sauce

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ESCARGOTS - snails in garlic parsley butter

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FRIED OYSTERS w/ remoulade

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ROASTED OCTOPUS “CITRONETTE" 

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MOULES FRITES – curry broth

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DUCK CONFIT - “pomme rosti", mushroom jus, frisée

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STEAK FRITES - served with béarnaise or beurre maître d'hôtel

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10 OZ BURGER - gruyere, black truffle mayo, caramelized onions, bacon, mushrooms, pomme frites

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Address: 241 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Phone:(212) 388-0052

 

www.lagamellenyc.com/

Vaucluse

Photo: Eater.com

Photo: Eater.com

I don’t much go for restaurants in the Upper East Side. I don’t think a lot of creativity lives up there in terms of restaurants. What does live up there is a lot of high maintenance women who demand no salt, no oil, no flavor, you know what let me just rework this dish myself because you’re my personal chef. Sorry, my PTSD from being a waitress on 62nd street flared up! I took a chance on Vaulcluse last night and I am thrilled to say it is a meal I couldn’t wait to write about.

Vaucluse opened a year ago in the space that was formerly occupied by Park Avenue Café. The company behind the restaurant is Chef Michael White’s Alta Marea Group. They are the team behind wonderful hits like Marea, Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori. The space engulfs you in NY glam & charm. Everything is polished to a T with deep grey banquettes, high detailed ceilings, and white table clothes. Old NY money is waited on by servers in proper waiter coats who make sure that your water and your drinks are constantly full.

Most of the restaurants in the group are Italian. Vaucluse is a departure from that, with a French menu. The menu is not cheap, but you do get what you pay for. You’ll find raw bar, homemade pastas, and plenty of intricately plated meat & fish options. The presentation of the food was flawless and there wasn’t a single extra ingredient on any of the dishes. There is tremendous restraint plating an asparagus dish as an appetizer with under 5 ingredients. The pasta we had was cooked to perfection and set in a rich trumpet mushroom puree. For entrees I experienced the best cooked pieces of fish and chicken I have ever put in my mouth. Then I had the pleasure of devouring the famed White Label Burger with the perfect blend of fontina cheese, tomato jam and dijonnaise.  A don’t mind getting fancy from time-to-time, and I loved doing it at Vaucluse. Here’s what we had:

 

Asperges Blanches - jumbo white asparagus, hollandaise, sunflower, smoked salmon

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Etoile de Fromage – comte ravioli, peas, trumpet royal, pine nuts

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Loup de Mer Farci – Mediterranean bass, shrimp mousseline, spring pea ragout, piquillo pepper

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Poulet Rôti aux Olives - roasted organic chicken, provencal olives, la ratte potatoes, lardons

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White Label Burger- aged beef blend, fontina cheese, tomato jam, dijonnaise

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Mousse aux Fruits Rouges - vanilla bean bavarois, pomegranate, rasberry sorbet

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Gateaux Chocolat - mocha crémeux, chocolate genoise, caramel glace

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Address: 100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065

Phone:(646) 869-2300

altamareagroup.com/

Virginia's

   Photo: Urban Daddy

 Photo: Urban Daddy

All of my favorite bars are on Avenue C. I could spend the rest of my life drinking at only Pouring Ribbons, The Summit Bar, & The Wayland. The area is jam packed with the best watering holes on planet earth. I don’t think of the area as a place that houses fine(r) dinging restaurants. Virginia's moved in and changed that. The place is unexpectedly upscale for the area, but a welcome departure from the other options in alphabet city.

Virginia's was opened by restaurant vets with solid NYC experience. The owners are Reed Adelson from Locandra Verde and former Per Se sous-chef Christian Ramos. Ramos follows in the footsteps of many other Per Se vets opening up hip restaurants with phenomena food downtown. His former kitchen alum have opened Nooreteuh, Fung Tu, and Uncle Boons. The space itself is clean and modern. The bar is marble, walls are white with minimal decoration, and the banquets are tan leather. The space has two dining rooms separated by a semi-wall, and you can look straight into the kitchen action from the bar.

 The menu is modern and eclectic with beautiful plating style. The food is amazingly consistent. This is my 3rd time dining there and I have never had one dish that felt uninspired or lacking of anything. The menu changes frequently to evolve with the seasons and keep diners engaged. You won’t find a bad review of this place- trust me, I looked. Critics loved the same thing that I love about this place. Food is seasoned well, extremely imaginative, and the portions are larger than expected. They also have a great wine list and attentive service. Oh, and you can sit at the bar and have a fucking fabulous heart-stopping burger. Here’s what we had:  

Garbanzo bean toast with sheep's milk ricotta

Seared cuttlefish, capers, ends meat cured lonza

Grilled blue cobia, sauteed pea shoots, rainbow beets

Stuffed leg of lamb, grilled asparagus, charred eggplant, saffron pickled garlic

Whole roasted pork shoulder, meyer lemon, spring onion 

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Cheeseburger with clothbound cheddar, caramelized onions, bone marrow mayonnaise

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Address: 647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

Phone:(212) 658-0182

 virginiasnyc.com