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casual/inexpensive french restaurant in chelsea/upper west side

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Hello all -

I'm going to be in Manhattan on Friday, and I'm looking for someplace to go out to dinner with some friends.
Preference is either French or North African (i.e. Algerian/Morrocan/Tunisian, not Ethiopian, etc., good stuff but for that I have plenty of options w/out going to NYC).
For French, my preferences are for southern, either Bordeaux/Toulouse/SW kind of cuisine or else Provencal.

Last time I was up in Manhattan we ate at Nomad, which we liked quite a bit. Itinerary this time involves spending the day up by Columbia and then heading out via Penn Station, so the Lower East Side becomes less tempting.

Thanks!
Charles AKA BobLobLaw

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  1. Gascogne, on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts., is one of our favorite French bistros. Cozy and charming with excellent food, the menu featurea the cuisine of that eponymous region of France.

    http://www.gascognenyc.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      One of my favorites as well. Never had a bad meal, or a bad time, there.

      1. re: JoanN

        Looks great - they didn't seem to be answering their phone last night, so i'm not sure what my chances are. (I"m guessing just showing up, w/4 friends, on a Friday night, isn't a great "plan A."

        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          Hey, Bob,

          Gascogne not answering the phone? That does seem odd! But I would definitely not show up there on a Friday night -- or any night, for that matter -- without a reservation.

          If, for some reason, you strike out with Gascogne, another French bistro in the vicinity is Gavroche, on 14th St., b/t 7th & 8th Avs. The food's good though, in my view, not quite as good as Gascogne, and the menu is more "generic" French bistro. The setting is not as charming but still pleasant enough.

          http://www.gavroche-ny.com

          1. re: RGR

            They finally did answer. But since then, my plans wound up changing a lot. So, no Gascogne this time. I'm excited about going there sometime soon, though.

            1. re: Bob Loblaw

              Bob, I hope you do get to Gascogne soon. For future reference, one of the things I really love about the place is the back garden, truly one of the loveliest in the city.

    2. Not sure what your price range is but on the UWS I would strongly recommend Nice Matin. Alouette at Broadway and 97th is also quite nice.