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Feb 26, 2005 04:08 PM

Lucien vs Casimir - ?

  • d

Ive been to Lucien and the horrible service aside, the food was excellent.

my friend told me that Casimir is even tastier... after reading several reviews of Casimir, i am skeptical... has anyone had the pleasure of experiencing both of these bistros? and have some insight? or can recommend an even tastier one? i love balthazar, but it can be costly to dine there regularly...

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  1. I've eaten many, many times at Casmir, and have never had anything other than a great experience. I've taken lots of people there, and everyone has felt it a great little bistro with a very French feeling. It's also a bit cheaper than Lucien, which, while good, to me has never been as pleasent an experience as Casimir.


    2 Replies
    1. re: micah

      I would second that, although I love Lucien (bad service and all). Casimir has a more energetic atmosphere, too, which is fun. Definitely worth a trip for comparison.

      1. re: Margaret

        Of the two, I prefer Lucien. I also like Flea Market on Ave. A which is a little less expensive than either of the above.

    2. What was your horrible service experience? I know they get extremely busy there in the evening, but in general the service at Lucien is superb -- and i would guess that i've eaten there at least 75 times....i am merely curious: who was your server and what happened?

      1. i believe i have eaten at ALL the cute little bistros in the e.village, & feel comfortable in not recommending any IF one has to travel. None are worth the trip. however, if u live in the neighborhood, then it becomes which u are more comfortable in. the food is about the same, which is average-to- below average. anyone who disagrees with this doesn't know hi quality french bistro food PERIOD!!! at none of the faux bistros does anyone know anything about wine & how to serve!! the reds are way too hot, the whites are way too cold, for starters. ice bucket?? get real!! only those stupid little cylinders that are cute, like the bistros, but are not functional! can't decide who the bigger moron is: the inventor of these cylinders or the resos who purchase them. the prices of wines in these little places are ridiculous compared to what they cost. they get away with it because the customers allow them to - amazing!!!

        as for balthazar - yes, its more expensive, but at least u come closer to quality with regards to food & wine. the other comments for u are comical. lucien or casimir? casimir or lucien? who cares!! whichever one is closest, because at the end of the day, they are the same.

        if this seems harsh, it is supposed to be. i'm getting tired of support for crappy little phoney french-like
        bistros started by ex-waiters, ex-hosts, who know they can BS the customer who thinks they are in a "cool" e. village place. for providing the venue, u get below average cassoulet, etc..., hi wine prices for pretty crappy wine, cramped space, & many times, arrogant service by actor wannabes, who prefer to be the customer at balthazar or pastis anyday.

        i dare anyone here to really dispute the above FACTS. u know they are all true, u just don't want to be realistic! think about it B4 responding!!!!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: jgould

          I do dare to disagree with you. First, there are certainly some objective measures of food/restaurant quality, but much of the experience is subjective. Given that opinions about food are just that--opinions--I am shocked by the vehemence with which you express your opinions and by your assumption that your opinion is some sort of objective fact. It's not. I haven't been to either Lucien or Casimir, but I have had he much-vaunted Balthazar brunch and didn't enjoy it at all. The food was mediocre and the price was much too high for the quality of food--I have had better brunch at just about every other hole in the wall in the East Village that I have tried.
          I don't understand why the fact that you don't find much difference between Lucien or Casimir gives you the right to stand on your pedestal and launch a tirade against people who dare indulge in the discussion. If you don't care about the difference, then I suggest you just move on to another post.

          1. re: Lucia

            I would have to agree with jgould that none of the EV French bistros are particularly good using the objective criteria of good wine service and well executed food made from high quality ingredients. You can get a meal that will be reasonable and not too expensive if you know how to navigate their menus, but overall the ingredients and execution are poor.

            Of course, if your subjective preference is for steak that's lean and flavorless, cassoulet that tastes like a can of tomato paste and wine at room temperature, whatever that happens to be that day, you'd love them, but there isn't even one that I would recommend wholeheartedly.

            As for brunch at Balthazar, it's always a bad idea to try and judge a kitchen by its brunch, but the Balth/Pastis brunch used to be quite good before they switched (at least at Pastis) to preparing dishes in advance. I wonder how regulars there aren't surprised when they get steak frites or eggs benedict within 2-3 minutes of placing their order.

            1. re: Lucia

              I also found Balthazar's brunch stunningly mediocre.

          2. in terms of food, Lucien is much better than Casimir.. the vibe at Casimir will be a bit more high energy than at Lucien..

            Leon, on 12th near 1st is also good and worth checking out.. a lot more laid back with great food and nice service..

            flea market is probably the best combination of vibe and food.. especially in the spring/summer when they open up the doors onto the park.. even now though, it's nice.. i hit it when we had the big snowstorm last month and it was still nice..

            1. I had an excellent meal at Lucien last night (rabbit in mustard cream over pasta). I let slip that i needed to be somewhere soon, and the service was very friendly and brisk. It's small, and i'll bet they can get overwhelmed on a busy night. But on Monday at 6… I just got back from France, and, though it's not Paris, the "bistro experience" seemed right on.

              3 Replies
              1. re: schlimmerkerl

                ugh...havent been to casimir or lucien in maybe 5 years...both of them had pretty horrible food and service back in the day.

                casimir's food was better than lucien but their service was worse...

                1. re: sam1

                  i agree with sam's assessment.

                2. re: schlimmerkerl

                  I found the rabbit bland and one-dimensional. My dining partners had better luck with what they ordered, but still nothing to make it worth going out of one's way for, and it was awfully expensive for the quality of food, service and atmosphere. I don't understand the attraction.