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Apr 4, 2008 12:00 AM

Good french food which wont kill my wallet

Have some friends coming into the city in 2 weeks. Need a nice french place, that won't kill my wallet. We all like drinks and desserts also, so a nice suggestion for dessert and drinks for after that is not too expensive will also help

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  1. La Boite en Bois -- an intimate 10-table walk-down French bistro at 68th & Columbus should fill the bill nicely. Their bread pudding for dessert is to die for. (Ask in advance. They sometimes run out)

    3 Replies
    1. re: idia

      check out the lunch menu. not sure i'd trust a french restaurant that doesnt even come close to the correct spelling of monsieur.

      1. re: rooney

        Rooney: I had to laugh because I too feel that way about the spelling of "monsieur" and other things misspelled on the menu as well.
        If it were an upscale restaurant I would, just like you, be absolutely turned off.
        But we are only speaking of a good French restaurant "THAT WON'T KILL HER POCKETBOOK." This place is not the panacea of French restaurants by a longshot but it is pleasant, popular and friendly with better than decent food -- hence my recommendation.

        1. re: rooney

          It's close-ish. Messieurs is the plural of monsieur, but they still left off the last s...maybe for "savings."

        1. re: LeahBaila

          When L'Express first opened many years ago, the food was really good. However, over time, I think the quality has greatly deteriorated.

          Marseille is in the same restaurant group, but the food is vastly superior, and the ambiance is much nicer as well.

          1. re: RGR

            I disagree. L'Express has, by far, the best croque monsieur in town.

        2. Please be more specific about your price range so we can make more informed recommendations.

          5 Replies
            1. re: pancun187

              OK, so many (most? all?) of the recommendations here are pretty useless for you. You will have difficulty finding a decent meal for less than $60 for two courses and wine with tax and tip.

              1. re: pancun187

                actually, cafe du soleil would work for that price, as would le gigot on cornelia st., and plenty of other bistro type places.

                i've heard some good things about tout va vien in hell's kitchen / midtown east, which would work price-wise, but perhaps someone else can give you more details about the quality of the food.

                1. re: cimui

                  Le Gigot for under $50? I don't think so. Take a look at the menu. Tout va Bien would definitely fit the price category. I've never been there but have the impression the food is nothing to write home about?
                  Chez Napoleon has a 3-course prix-fixe for $30 but the selection is rather limited. Cafe du Soleil would work also, but the food is mediocre IMO. Not too bad for the price, though.

                  1. re: rrems

                    I actually think that Le Gigot is doable under $50 if you stick with 3 course meal and a glass of wine.

                    If you really want it cheap, you can try La Bonne Soupe. That will fit the bill for sure, albeit limited selection

            2. Has anyone been to Gavroche on West 14th lately? It used to have a decent reputation...

              4 Replies
              1. re: sea97horse

                We had brunch at Gavroche towards the end of last summer, and I thought the food was somewhat disappointing when compared to meals we had previously had there.

                In that general vicinity, Gascogne is a much better choice. Delicious food and very charming atmospherics whether inside or in the very lovely garden.


                1. re: RGR

                  I had brunch there last spring. It was almost empty and the service was deplorable. The food was mediocre at best

                  1. re: RGR

                    Unfortunately, Gavroche started out excellent and has slowly dropped to barely above average. We haven't felt inclined to go there in the last year.

                    1. re: rrems

                      Not only has the food gone downhill, but the garden looked very neglected. :-(

                2. My favourite is La Luncheonette way over on 10th Ave. Very fairly priced.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sing me a bar

                    agreed...La Lunchonette is is Lucien...depends on the atmosphere you want...LaLunchonette is quiet, film noir, like a castaway from a French harbor...Lucien is East Village grungey trendy and usually packed...

                    1. re: sing me a bar

                      I'll throw my support behind La Lunchonette. Once inside, it feels to me like eating in a French country farmhouse!