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Cozy French Bistro recs?

Greetings Manhattanites-

My BF and I are coming to NYC next week and have planned a majority of our trip around the fabulous restaurant recommendations I've found on this board. We have reservations for the following:

Babbo (was able to score a post theatre resv on Tuesday night)
Gari Sushi
Grand Central Oyster Bar (lunch)
Norma's (Sunday brunch)

We plan to do a Chinatown/Little Italy/Downtown tour one day, which will include a visit to Katz's and Lombardi's. We also have tix to a Yankee game so I guess ballpark food is in my future as well.

I would like to find a lovely little french bistro that is reasonably priced. I really wanted to go to Artisinal, but I want to treat for this meal and I need to stay under $100 (all incl.). I'd like to find something romantic and quaint that would really remind us of Paris.

Our hotel is on 46th and Broadway, but we don't mind exploring the city! Oh, and I'd also like recs for a few places for brekkie in that neighborhood. Thanks in advance!

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  1. $100 is going to be a little tricky, but . . .

    La Bonne Soupe is a perennial favorite for bargain-hunting francophiles;
    Also, if you're not borough-phobic, you might try the Garden Cafe, near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn (it's tiny, you'll need a reservation);
    Tournesol in Long Island City (Queens) is worth checking out;
    Danal on W. 10th Street is very romantic and good and used to be a destination for the budget-conscious, although I think it's a little pricier these days;
    Metisse on W. 105th Street is an little-known gem that would probably "fit the bill;"
    La Petite Auberge, Lexington and 28th Street;
    and on Madison and 93rd there's Pascalou, French-Asian fusion and very good, with an amazing pre-theater prix-fixe deal.

    1. La Petite Auberge, which is a huge favorite of mine, has been serving delicious food for 30 years. In addition to the moderately-priced a la carte menu, there is a 4-course prix-fixe for $25. The wine list is excellent, and service is always efficient. The quaint interior resembles a cozy inn in Britanny (where the owners are from) rather than a Paris bistro. It has tended towards a more mature clientele, but lately I've been noticing many younger diners who have discovered LPA's charms.

      http://www.lapetiteaubergeny.com

      1. How about Le Jardin Bistro? The garden is lovely on a nice night, and it's not super expensive.
        http://www.lejardinbistro.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: pronek

          its a nice place but i think the food is awful there.

          i think you can still keep it under $100 at artisanal but if not, i always thought rialto is a good option.

        2. Not sure if you can get under $100 here, but I like this place a lot. The Village on W 9th
          http://www.villagerestaurant.com/vill...

          For breakfast, try Amy's Bread on 9th Ave between 46 and 47

          1. All time fave in this category is Gascogne, on 8th Ave at 18th. Food is authentic and delicious, Ambiance is romantic. If you're seated by 7:30, Sunday thru Thursday, you can take advantage of their $29 prix-fixe 3-course menu.

            In fine weather they have one of the top 5 gardens for dining in the city. If you're there by 7:30, you should be able to easily come in under your $100 budget. Later, you can still come close, but you will go over.

            New York is probably pricier than you remember (or are figuring on), sorry to say!

            Old faves we used to be able to "do" easily for $60 for 2 now are very close to $100.

            1. I rather like Petite Abeille, which is a Belgian bistro, there are several locations all over the city. There's one in Tribeca on West Broadway, there's one on 17th Street between 5th & 6th Aves, there's one on Hudson between Grove & Barrow, and another one on 1st Ave and 20th. I've eaten at the W. Broadway and 17th Street locations and I've always enjoyed the food. And it's very very reasonably priced as well. Wednesdays are fun, they have an "all you can eat" mussels and Belgian beer special.

              It's a bit on the trendier side than some of the other excellent bistros already mentioned, but I don't think it's any less cozy.

              www.petiteabeille.com

              I also love love love Le Gamin Cafe on Houston near Sullivan. Actually, I may love this place more than Petite Abeille. Again, there are several of these all over the city, but my only experience has been at the Houston St location. This is also a very inexpensive place for NYC (all entrees under $20), and a great spot to be in for after dinner strolling.

              http://www.legamin.com/

              1. Gavroche fits the bill (and the budget) and they have a lovely garden in the back. http://www.gavroche-ny.com/

                1. It was mentioned a bit higher up, but I'd give a big vote for Artisanal. It's on 32nd between Park and Madison, and you could probably keep it under $100 for 2. Especially if you get the cheese fondue for two (which is majorly delicious) and a bunch of dippers.

                    1. Wow! Thanks everyone! This looks like a wide range of choices, all within my budget. La Bonne Soupe looks wonderful. I loooove fondue so we may go with that at whatever place we choose.

                      We're from the LA area and our choices for french cuisine are limited. I am overwhelmed by the variety of cuisine we have to choose from in your city! I can't wait for our visit and will report back when we return.