Opinions on great NY brasseries and bistros
I just got back from my first trip to Paris, and while I had some great food thanks to some good Chowhound suggestions, I found that my beloved Balthazar is STILL my favorite brasserie. And I was only there for a long weekend so feel free to push back if you know better, but I think they do a pretty authentic job of it as well. Just wondering what other people's opinions are and also, what other great quasi-authentic brasseries are there here in NYC that I should try?
I'm going to start with one NYC brasserie that I think you should avoid like the proverbial plague: Les Halles. Perhaps, at one time, it was excellent. But those days are long gone. Poor food and even worse service.
My favorite brasserie is Marseille, on the corner of 9th Av. & 44th St. The French/Mediterranean cuisine is delicious, service is prompt, the decor is very attractive, and the vibe is upbeat, yet the noise level manages to remain conversation-friendly.
Edited to add: I just noticed that in your subject head, you are asking also about bistros.
Two of my favorites:
La Petite Auberge, on Lex, b/t 27th & 28th Sts., has been around for 30 years. Solidly prepared French bistro classics served in a space that's like a charming little inn in Brittany (which is where the owners are from).
Park Bistro, on Park Av. S., b/t 28th & 29th Sts., opened around 1990 and serves a more contemporary style of French bistro cuisine. Excellent food and a space that has a very stylish Paris bistro feel.