is this place really good? I've seen some enthusiastic reviews but don't really know how legit they are....
Really legit. The owner is french, the chef has spent much time in France, specifically Alsace, as I understand it, and the food was fabulous. My husband and I ate there several years ago on our anniversary--there were only 6-8 parties in the whole night (cold, sleet, end of October), but some were obviously regulars and/or french. I can't remember what we had, but do remember it being difficult to decide as the choices were uniformly tempting. My husband is a wine guy (at that time more of a budding wine guy) and always interested to hear what the wine steward will recommend. I remember the wine steward being very informal in a good way, sitting down with us and having a good sense of humor about wine-speak (you know, chewy, black currant over muted tones of leather).
We do not dine in that price range but 3-4 times a year, for birthdays, anniversary, parent visit, and we have an informal policy of using those occasions to try new places, so we haven't been back. If we could afford it, I think we would be regulars. We still get (just got one) postcards detailing the menu for their special wine dinners (next Tuesday, featuring goose, the wine dinners are usually a food or region or both theme). I only wish they would list the price of the dinner and which wines they will be serving.
I highly recommend this place. Now that I think of it, my Dad is coming to town and, as I said, ours is only an informal policy. I have always read that it is "undiscovered" which probably means quiet; a good choice for an older gentleman.
I am a new poster, have been lurking for a while. I can second the Cafe Matou recomendation. I dont neccessarily know enough to know what is truly authentic. I do know that I have been there five times in the last six months and have been delighted with the food and happier still with the service. A very comfortable room very friendly and open staff. I have send a number of people there and they concur.