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May 3, 2008 04:30 PM

Best choucroute in Manhattan?

In the past week, I've had dinner at Balthazar and Benoit, both great substitutions for a trip to Paris, in my view.
The problem was that neither of them served choucroute. Where in New York can I find choucroute that matches the best in Paris (say, Brasserie Lipp)?

I've heard that Les Halles serves a decent choucroute, but would love other suggestions.

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  1. Have you tried Cafe d'Alsace? I'm not a fan of choucroute, but my husband is, and liked theirs, and can't compare to Paris for you.

    Also - would you mind sharing your thoughts about Benoit? Looking forward to trying it.

    Cafe d'Alsace
    1695 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Many thanks for your suggestions. I used to go to Les Halles quite often, it's certainly a place that people love to complain about, but I've always liked it, though I think the place lost a lot of its charm when they expanded the room, it has become increasingly touristy since then.

      Benoit was terrific. It's not pricey, and it's not necessarily a very memorable experience, but I consider it a perfect place for a nice weekday dinner. The room is lovely (though I didn't really like the bar facing the street), the service is very French, which is both good and bad (our waiters could be a little rude sometimes, but he certainly knew the food, and this was when the place had just a "soft opening" so I don't want to be to judgemental).
      Our meal was bistro 1.0: steak tartare, escargot, duck confit, potato gratin, all great, but nothing mindblowing, which I didn't really expect when paying $ 20-25 for entrees.

      I found a good review of the place here:

      Wil definetely try Cafe d'Alsace for choucroute.

    2. The choucroute at Les Halles is very good. I haven't been to Cafe D'Alsace and would expect theirs to be good also. Les Halles tends to get bashed on this board, but for certain dishes I find it unbeatable. In February, they have a choice of 4 different choucroutes, which is an embarassment of riches, but the choucroute garnie which is on the menu at all times is quite good. Other dishes I like include steak tartare, smoked herring, and boudin noir. There are also a lot of complaints of noise and cramped seating, but we never go for dinner, only for Saturday lunch, and we have never experienced these problems.

      1. any place downtown? i was at brasserie flo in paris a few weeks ago and had possibly the finest choucroute ever.

        my dad actually makes a variation of it using polish sausages from greenpoint. its actually excellent.

        1. Ironically, it was La Cote Basque and even Brasserie LCB, now in the Benoit space, that served my favorite choucroute. I'd stick with Les Halles. Wonder why Ducasse doesn't have it on the menu?

          3 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth

              Hope you're right-we'll see next winter.

            2. re: guttergourmet

              I walked by and noticed he had the cassoulet from LCB on the menu.

            3. Balthazar does have it. It is on the nightly specials. I can't remember what day though. Call to check. It is really good.