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Trying to decide btw Pastis, Schiller's and Balthazar

rkg Mar 23, 2007 02:58 PM

Any help? Which offers more of an area to go out around after dinner? We don't really want too trendy of a scene. I know these restaurants can be kinda trendy though.


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    Simon RE: rkg Mar 23, 2007 03:09 PM

    this all depends on what you want...they are all downtown so any bar area is convenient after dinner...

    personally, i dislike Pastis and Schillers...and i love Balthazar, but i only go there on weekdays in the late morning or late afternoon, or very late at night...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Simon
      hungry_fox RE: Simon Mar 23, 2007 04:14 PM

      Yea I really haven't heard many/any good things about Pastis, I suggest you focus your attention on either Schillers or Balthazar.

      1. re: hungry_fox
        jsmitty RE: hungry_fox Mar 23, 2007 04:21 PM

        i disagree. schillers food is pretty poor. i think pastis gets a bad rap sometimes b/c it gets grouped in unjustiafiably with some of the meatpacking places that are not so serious about food. meat preparations, brunch, french fries, french drinks et. al. are all very good. balthazar is always good......

      2. re: Simon
        MMRuth RE: Simon Mar 23, 2007 04:19 PM

        I've been to Pastis and Schillers once each - that was enough - I would definitely go to Balthazar instead - yes, it's a bit more expensive (but not a lot more vis a vis Pastis) and it is, IMHO, much better than the other two.

        1. re: MMRuth
          snaporaz RE: MMRuth Mar 23, 2007 05:15 PM

          +1 on Balthazar. Schiller's is pretty awful. Poor food, not to mention the wine, and the chairs they had when I was there were really uncomfortable (and I'm not a big guy).
          Pastis... eh.

          1. re: snaporaz
            LFeinberg RE: snaporaz Mar 23, 2007 05:18 PM


            1. re: LFeinberg
              rkg RE: LFeinberg Mar 26, 2007 10:44 AM

              Thanks guys! i think i will pick Balthazar...now I just need to get a rez...

      3. Chinon00 RE: rkg Mar 26, 2007 11:04 AM

        I may be too late to chime in but I've been to both Pastis and Balthazar many times. I would give a slight nod in terms of food to Balthazar. But the menus are very similar actually. The atmosphere is what really distinguishes these two places. I believe that Pastis opened in '94. The crowd was more mellow then. Over the years it's become much more of a scene; huge guys policing the front door. But for me the food has always been what I expected (i.e. sinple, well executed bistro food). Balthazar attracts almost more of a family crowd and is more of a serious bistro. I've been to Balthazar late into the evening and I've never seen it become a "scene". I truly love them both though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00
          jsmitty RE: Chinon00 Mar 26, 2007 11:08 AM

          i agree with chinon on thsi one. pastis has incurred a certain nasty wrath for some reason. i love the place.....

          1. re: jsmitty
            shopwinedinefine RE: jsmitty Mar 26, 2007 11:17 AM

            I was at both Pastis and Balthazar this past weekend - I was unimpressed by Pastis. We were there for brunch and I did not like the vibe - the food came almost too quickly and it was like they were trying to rush you out. We had a late dinner at Balthazar and found it to be much better. The food was good, atmosphere was good, and the service was just right.

            1. re: shopwinedinefine
              jsmitty RE: shopwinedinefine Mar 26, 2007 12:23 PM

              the vibe? it has an element of bridge and tunnel yes and meatpacking trend sure, but the food is still very good. it should not be compared to balthazar they are different things from the same guy.

        2. Chinon00 RE: rkg Mar 26, 2007 12:15 PM

          To be completely frank I think what happened was that Pastis got "discovered". To my best estimation this occured maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It was at this time that you started to see what I consider the kiss of death to a solid restaurant:
          1) Large security guys with ear pieces outside
          2) Large groups ordering cosmos inside

          Which doesn't mean that the food can't be good it's just the atmosphere that can be off putting (unless that's your thing).

          3 Replies
          1. re: Chinon00
            spicynuts RE: Chinon00 Mar 26, 2007 12:28 PM

            are you seriously saying Balthazar has not been 'discovered'?

            1. re: spicynuts
              Chinon00 RE: spicynuts Mar 26, 2007 03:09 PM

              As for Balthazar getting discovered, I’m sure that it has. But to me it has been discovered by a crowd that is much more interested in food and wine than those at Pastis. So it isn’t so much “that” Pastis got discovered it’s “who” discovered Pastis (or the area in general). Pastis I believe was one of the first places in the meatpacking district. And as mentioned above by jsmitty the whole area (including Pastis) has become b&t-trendy. That can be fun but can also have a negative effect on your dining experience (depending on what you like).

              1. re: Chinon00
                brendastarlet RE: Chinon00 Mar 26, 2007 03:22 PM

                the staff at Balthazar is very nice, and the food is okay. I had a mediocre croissant there at breakfast that surprised me, given that it's a French cafe, but they were attentive and the rest of the meal was good.
                My friends no longer go to Pastis, because the Sex and the City fans have ruined it. How about Nice Matin on the west side as an alternative? I've had good breakfasts and dinners there lately.

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