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Sep 12, 2007 06:54 AM

Reasonable Traditional French?

My mother is visiting from Florida and wants to take all the grandchildren out to a real French restaurant of the sort she remembers during 60's visits to NYC, This is not dbModerne, Montrachet, or Le Cote Basque time --are there still some older, traditionals where the food is worthwhile?

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  1. La Grenouille, is I believe, one of the few left - but I'm not sure if you are saying that you don't want places that pricey - which I can certainly understand. LCB is closed, BTW.

    Edit - Hit self over the head - missed "reasonable" in your title. I think there are a couple of places that other posters regularly recommend, but I'm blanking right now. Jubilee might be an option, though I've not been for quite a while. Are you looking for bistro fare, or more traditional French cooking (not that bistro fare isn't traditional)?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      more traditional if we can... busy, buzzy, not in my mother's preferred lexicon. What/ where is Jubliee? LCB ( I was engaged there, 27 years ago...) morphed into LCB-B, no?but I've been away past year so had no idea it had closed.

    2. La Petite Auberge, on Lex, b/t 27th & 28th Sts., does not quite date back to the 60's (it opened 30 years ago), but it is very much like those French bistros. The traditional bistro fare is well-prepared and tasty, and the space has the cozy feel of a little inn in Britanny, which is where the owners -- one of whom is always on the premises -- came from.

      Btw, just to note that La Cote Basque has been closed for a number of years, and both its remake, LCB Brasserie, and Montrachet closed earlier this year.

      5 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        I also like very much La Petite Auberge. I took my mom there a few months ago, and we really liked it. Love the Grand Marnier souffle!

        1. re: ellenost

          I must third La Petite Auberge. I really like that place. Reminds me of a typical small Parisian right bank eatery.

          I should also adivsze to check out Chez Napolean in Hell's Kitchen--a family run gem.

          1. re: ellenost

            La Petite Auberge is a good idea! I remember one sleety winter evening there a few years ago and the welcome that, along with the good food, made the entire evening seem festive

          2. re: RGR

            Also have to agree on La Petite Auberge. My wife and I only go there a couple times a month but since our second visit the host/waiter has remembered us and what we drink.

            The food's good. The staff's friendly and capable.

            1. re: mahalan

              Geez, the last time I was at La Petite Auberge a few months back, it was a real disappintment. Everything was off and the coffee was undrinkable. Perhaps it was just a bad night.

          3. Chez Josephine is a friendly Proven├žale bistro in NoHo. Prices were very reasonable, atmosphere very traditional bistro, food hearty bistro fare. If, however, she is looking for the traditional French restaurants from the 60s, she's not going to find anything reasonable. Those old-school restaurants were characterized by tuxedoed waiters, high formality and high prices.

            1. Try La Boueuf a la Mode on east 81st street. We have been going there for over thirty five years and their price fixe dinner is an amazing bargain. Consistently good food (the chocolate mousse is not to be missed). It has been owned by the same family the entire time.

              3 Replies
              1. re: smarty

                I moved to the UES recently from Murray Hill. Between what avenues is La Boeuf a la Mode? Sounds like the kind of restaurant I would love.

                1. re: ellenost

                  La Boeuf a la Mode is between East End and York Avenues, on the north side of the street.

                2. re: smarty

                  I live three blocks away, so must say I've probably been there (Le Boeuf a la Mode) at least two dozen times in past 4 years--the last was two weeks ago. The prices have gone up appreciably since last visit and the duck was not what it used to be (crispy, tender, etc)--almost wondered when it had been cooked. Steak frites was (approx?) $12 sppl to the pre fixe of $40 and not even of quality of Bistro Le Steak (also in the greater 'hood). Will continue to go there, but not because I am ecstatic about the food. I miss Sirabella and would like to know whether you know of anything else in the area that is good. I've been away for past year on teaching sabbatical.

                3. Try Capsouto Freres at 451 Washington Street in TriBeCa (Take the #1 train to Varick and walk west). Was just there for brunch a couple of weeks ago, and the food is so good, and the prices so reasonable! (They own the building, so they don't have to pay rent...)

                  Another place I love is Gascogne on 8th Avenue at 18th Street. If the weather is fine you can enjoy their delicious food in the charming atrium garden.