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Pre-Theatre Opinions

r
Rachel Perlow Sep 25, 1999 12:24 PM

Would like some opinions on the following restaurants
for pre-theatre dining:

Cafe Un Deux Trois
Chez Josephine
Rachel's American Bistro

Thanks

  1. l
    Liza Sep 27, 1999 04:23 PM

    Can respond about Cafe Un, Deux, Trois: had a terrible meal there within the last two months. Lobster bisque without taste or evidence of lobster, that sort of thing. Service was grand, though.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Liza
      r
      Rachel Perlow Sep 28, 1999 01:07 PM

      Due to the other couple's preference for french that evening, we went to Cafe 123. Found the service to be pretty good, the food mostly good, and yes, they got us out on time (we did have a 5:30 reservation, which I'm sure helped in not being rushed).

      Some general observations:

      The decor is quite nice, lots of trump d'oil (sp?) (faux finishes), nice light fixtures, etc. I found the crayon decorations a little incongruous - I bet there's an in-joke in their inspiration.

      The Pate de campangne, was very good, and served with cornichons and nicoise olives; a little spicy, the pistachios were a nice touch. The French Onion Soup tasted as if it were made with boullion cubes, way too salty, not gruyere cheese (prepared much better at La Bonnes Soupe). The escargot were acceptable, but had an unusual tangyness to them.

      Best entree at the table was the Steak aux poives Frites (only my friend substituted veggies for fries, which were cooked perfectly), the pepper sauce was quite yummy. My Salad Nicoise was a nice salad, with those tiny nicoise olives, but had no green beans, was served in a deep bowl (rather than composed on a plate) and I would think it should have freshly grilled tuna, but instead it was rather dry canned (I believe) tuna.

      The desserts were OK, best of the three we tried was the creme brulee (others were tarte tatin and chocolate mousse), with a nicely browned top & creamy custard beneath.

      BTW - "Fosse" was great!

      1. re: Rachel Perlow
        j
        jen kalb Sep 28, 1999 01:30 PM

        Re the salade nicoise, as someone else has noted recently, canned rather than freshly grilled tuna is classic for this dish; if someone uses fresh, they are americanizing, so while you might have preferred the fresh, the use of canned tuna can't rightly be seen as a flaw. Now if its bad quality or non-oil-packed canned tuna...

        1. re: jen kalb
          r
          Rachel Perlow Sep 28, 1999 03:18 PM

          I knew canned was the classic, but it should have then been decent, olive oil packed, tuna, right? This was pretty dry, water packed tuna. I figured freshly grilled, although contemporary, would have fit in with the restaurant. Rachel

          1. re: Rachel Perlow
            m
            Melinda Sep 29, 1999 10:51 AM

            Olive oil packed tuna??? Does that exist?

            1. re: Melinda
              m
              MU Sep 29, 1999 11:21 AM

              You can find Progresso tuna in olive oil, which, if memory serves, won a NYT taste test a while back, in any halfway-decent market.

        2. re: Rachel Perlow
          s
          Steven Stern Sep 28, 1999 06:50 PM

          The really nice thing about Cafe 1,2,3, is the bar. The food, when I've had it, has been kinda mediocre but inoffensive; the bar is one of the most pleasant after-work drink options in the area. Certainly not worth going out of one's way for, but if you're in the neighborhood already, a very happy medium between picturesque Hell's Kitchen dives and temples of exalted cocktail wonderfulness like Blackbird. Though it lacks the history, of course, they make a helluva better drink than the absurdly overpriced Algonquin bar. And they have lovely non-jarred olives and tasty non-rancid cashews, all for free. (They used to have nice slices of fatty salami, but I think they stopped. Probably because of me.) They know how to make a martini--really cold, crystal clear, served in a proper-sized, well-chilled glass. They have a couple of beers and drinkable wine by the glass. They have Punt e Mes, which nobody likes but me.

          You have to go before 6:30 or after 8 to avoid the theater crowds which are the restaurant's basic reason for existing. Once it clears out after curtain time, though, you have an extremely civilized and decidely non-trendy place for a wee tipple.

      2. t
        Tara Sep 29, 1999 10:52 PM

        I do not dig Rachel's. The food is just not very good. I have had pasta there several times, and it was funny tasting. Not funny ha-ha. I dined with the same friend each time, who actually hated her food. And I find the decor to be cutsey-poo, like there will be a teddy bear in the next little curio-filled niche.

        1. t
          Tara Sep 29, 1999 10:53 PM

          I do not dig Rachel's. The food is just not very good. I have had pasta there several times, and it was funny tasting. Not funny ha-ha. I dined with the same friend each time, who actually hated her food. And I find the decor to be cutsey-poo, like there will be a teddy bear in the next little curio-filled niche.

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