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Favorite French Bistro Food

Doreen Nov 16, 2007 04:56 AM

Spending 3 nights in Dec. Please share your favorite french bistro's. Thanks.

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  1. Deenso RE: Doreen Nov 16, 2007 06:12 AM

    small and intimate: Bistro les Amis
    a little bigger, very reasonable prices, live music in the evening: Jules
    big and boistrous - really a brasserie, rather than a bistro: Balthazar

    Bistro Les Amis
    180 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

    80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

    Jules Bistro
    65 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    6 Replies
    1. re: Deenso
      idia RE: Deenso Nov 16, 2007 06:42 AM

      I am curious to know what people think of the tiny French walk-down La Boite en Bois at 68th & Columbus.

      1. re: idia
        RGR RE: idia Nov 16, 2007 01:18 PM


        La Boite en Bois has been around for ages. And that's about how long ago it's been since we had dinner there. Yes, it is teensy, i.e, living up to its name in translation = "a box in the woods." Well, o.k., on the outskirts of Central Park. The menu is classic French bistro and, as best as I can recall, the food was good. Until fairly recently, it was cash ony. If you do decide to give it a try, I hope you'll report back.


        1. re: RGR
          idia RE: RGR Nov 17, 2007 06:01 AM

          Thanks RGR. I appreciate your comments. I will be having lunch there next Sunday before the theater. I will report back.
          They tell me it translates to "The Wooden Box" and that it now takes credit cards.

          1. re: idia
            RGR RE: idia Nov 17, 2007 06:52 AM

            Hmmm... Well, "wooden box" or "box in the woods" -- it's still teensy. lol I look forward to reading your review.

            Enjoy the show and Bon Appetit!

      2. re: Deenso
        alex70 RE: Deenso Nov 16, 2007 10:52 PM

        I went to jules last night and it was awful. My pate tasted like cat food my friends steak wasn't much better.

        1. re: alex70
          cricri7 RE: alex70 Nov 17, 2007 05:23 AM

          I am sorry to hear about this because we went in March and the food was good. It was not in the class of high-end restaurants but it was good. Lucien is definitely better, but I hope you at least enjoyed the music!

      3. m
        MaxAvery RE: Doreen Nov 16, 2007 11:59 AM

        montrachet is our favorite

        1 Reply
        1. re: MaxAvery
          RGR RE: MaxAvery Nov 16, 2007 01:20 PM

          Montrachet has closed.

        2. c
          cricri7 RE: Doreen Nov 16, 2007 03:03 PM

          I had dinner at 3 french bistros in the city. I had dinner at Jules and loved it. The ambiance is cool with the live jazz music and the food is good. I had dinner at Lucien on 1st avenue. The food was excellent. Their salmon tartar was incredible! I also had the steak tartar at Pere Pinard. It was god but nothing incredible. It is too loud a place for me. We had dinner on the outdoor terrasse and had a drink inside after and it is hot and loud. Their wine list is not too expensive with good choices.

          1. r
            rrems RE: Doreen Nov 16, 2007 03:03 PM

            I like Jarnac in the west village. Charming atmosphere and quite good food. Alouette on B'way and 97th is sort of a fancied-up bistro, with excellent food.

            1. LeahBaila RE: Doreen Nov 17, 2007 08:31 AM

              I haven't found a bistro serving all of my favorites under one roof, but here's a couple that exceed in certain dishes:
              Best croque monsieur: L'Express or Pastis
              Best French onion soup: Lucien
              Best cheese plates and fondue: Artisanal
              Great prix-fixe: Sel et Poivre

              1 Reply
              1. re: LeahBaila
                rrems RE: LeahBaila Nov 17, 2007 12:45 PM

                Sel et Poivre? Acceptable if you have to be in the neighborhood, but such dull food. It can be good for a laugh though. The last time I ate there a lady of a certain age seated at the next table ordered a glass of tonic water and then proceeded to surreptitiously pour vodka into it from a water bottle stashed in her purse.

              2. guttergourmet RE: Doreen Nov 17, 2007 02:59 PM

                My favorite for the past 20 years- La Luncheonette. Don't skip the tarte tatin, the lamb sausages, the cassoulet, the escargots or the lapin.

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