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Sep 1, 2006 05:31 PM

good unpretentious French restaurant?

Looking for a good French restaurant to celebrate double birthdays. La Lunchonette is closed for the weekend, and that is the type of palce I'm looking for. Not fancy (bad weather expected) but definitely good authetic French food. Recommendations appreciated!

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  1. I like Le Bateau Ivre or Montparnasse. Both are on 51st between 2nd and 3rd Ave. Small bistro style places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oldone

      i would skip montparnasse and Le bateau Ivre. I have been to both recently and neither has good food. Le Bateau Ivre is by far a better atmosphere for a birthday. The atmosphere is fun but the food is at best mediocre

    2. Cosette, on 33rd St., b/t Lex & 3rd, is a small, cozy French bistro with nicely-prepared classic dishes.

      Gascogne, on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts., has very good food, and the menu emphasizes dishes of that eponymous region in France. Unfortunately, the weather this weekend is probably not going to be conducive to sitting in their lovely back garden. But the interior is small, cozy and very charming.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RGR

        Second for Gascogne. Good food, good wine list, unprentious service, and most definitely worthwhile whether the back garden is available or non.

      2. For classic bistro fare I'm fond of Le Pere Pinard on the L.E.S. I sent a French family I know and they loved it. Totally unpretentious.

        1. Le Refuge, on 82nd St. bet Lexington and 3rd aves. You can check the menu at It's a nice bistro, the room is very pleasant and I always see a bunch of French people eating there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Toot

            I was there last month and posted about it. It was OK, but nothing special that I would be in a rush to return.

          2. you could also go to jubilee on 54st between second and third. The food is yummy, but the atmosphere is not that great (a bit sedate and on the older side)-very pleasant.