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Mar 23, 2007 02:58 PM

Trying to decide btw Pastis, Schiller's and Balthazar

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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  1. 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

      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

        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

        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

          +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: LFeinberg

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

      3. 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

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

          1. re: jsmitty

            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

              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. 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

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

            1. re: spicynuts

              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

                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.