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French, LES or midtown for tonight

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All,

Can anyone recommend a place for dinner tonight?
Parameters:
I need a reservation for 4 people. Tonight. Veeery short notice! (So THAT narrows things down already!)
Has to be French.
Preferably casual. Preferably not really noisy.
Preferably delicious, obviously!
Some of the party will be seeing a film festival movie at 32nd and 2nd this afternoon. Something they could hike to easily would be a plus... so I'm thinking midtown/LES? That's not written in stone, obviously. There are bunches of places that come up likely on Opentable, but I don't know any of the names -- except the big-name not casual ones like Vong.

Any suggestions?

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  1. PS: my backup is the very delicious Prune, where they have a spot for us at 6, but I know they're going to want it back pretty swiftly. Prune is gorgeous, but it is also very small and very popular...

    1 Reply
    1. re: linengirl

      I have heard great things about Tree restaurant on 1st Ave. near 12th st.- you can find earlier threads on the manhattan board or check out http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

    2. I'd go to opentable.com and narrow the search parameters to the neighborhood you want, as well as the type of cuisine. I just took a glace at "midtown east" and "French" and came up with maybe 8 places. It's worth a shot.

      1. Sorry I didn't see this until now, but for future reference:

        Cosette, on 33rd St., b/t 3rd & Lex. Teensy & charming with very tasty bistro classics.

        http://www.cosette-bistro.com

        La Petite Auberge, on Lex, b/t 27th & 28th. A favorite of ours for its always solidly prepared classic bistro dishes, excellent wine list, efficient service, and cozy Brittany inn-style setting.

        http://www.lapetiteaubergeny.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          Thanks all, for the excellent suggestions. Tree, Cosette, La Petite Auberge. I'll try them all, though it will take a little while to report back.

          Meanwhile, I am shamefaced but happy to report that I stuck with the backup: Prune. Which I thought everybody knew about, but apparently a few people hereabouts do not. So, for those few, IT'S GOOD! The kitchen guys are (from what I can tell) all women, working in a postage stamp-sized space to feed a dining room the size of two postage stamps. And they succeed GLORIOUSLY. Woe to the diner that goes with expectations of grand. The waiters and waitresses wear polo shirts. Woe to the diner that shows with expectations of elbow room. Frankly, in winter, you'd want to wear one of your smaller coats. No room for the bigger ones, much less shopping bags, elbows or suchlike. But it's FUN! And oh... the sweetbreads... Really, really just wonderful. But I suspect you all know this already. So now I go think about next outing. Tree, maybe... mmmmm....

        2. For future French dining excursion consideration, linengirl, I love Lucien on 1st and Houston. (It's right by the F stop on 2nd Ave, so easy access for schleppers.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: ballulah

            Ditto Lucien!