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Jul 2, 2008 12:57 PM

Little French Bistro for Steak Frites

My birthday is tomorrow and my wife and I want to go someplace where I can get a great steak frites and a small bistro ambiance. I did a search and came up with Artisanal, Balthazar, and thor. None of these have that small bistro feel, that I can think of. I love the French Diner, but I don't beleive they have steak frites and maybe I don't want something THAT small. Trying to stay at the 17-25 dollar an entree price range.

Live in LES, literally next to thor, but willing to travel a little ways.


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  1. I would recommend Jacques Brasserie on the UES (86th Street). Les Halles also has (well, I haven't been in year) good steak frite. For a little french feel, I love Cosette on 33rd street in murray hill, but not sure they have stieak frites.

    8 Replies
    1. re: offthebeatenpath1

      Jacques might be a little far, but Cosette looks nice. Thanks. I've never been a fan of Les Halles, sadly as I enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain.

      As a bonus question, does anybody know of a BYOB steak frites place?

      1. re: eternalX

        What about Raoul's - though I've not been for ages, and don't think they are BYOB.

        1. re: eternalX

          Le Halles is incredible; highly reccomended.

          1. re: kcijones001

            i recommend LES HALLES too, but with qualifications. go on off hours only and order anything but the steak dishes -- seriously. then its very enjoyable.

            1. re: mrnyc

              Les Halles is a large brasserie, which means it does not fit eternalX's desire for a little French bistro. In addition, I think the food at Les Halles is mediocre at best.

              1. re: RGR

                yes and eternalx is aware of that and if you followed he/she did not care for LES HALLES, so that was in reply.

                sure there are reasons to not like the place, noise, tourists, and more, but i disagree about generalizing about the food so broadly.

                it's kind of odd, but almost everything is good there, except for the beef, which is consistantly bad. for example they always have rilletes, which are often hard to score. and its hard to mess up mergeuz sausage, fries & greens or escargot or other simple standards. in fact the cassoulet, choucroute and duck confit are always pretty terrific.

                1. re: mrnyc

                  Actually, when I posted, I had forgotten externalX's comment about not being a fan of Les Halles. So, even if you happen to like the food (except for the beef), why would you recommend to him a place that *he* clearly doesn't like?

        2. re: offthebeatenpath1

          We've been meaning to try Jacques (on 85th, I think).

        3. L' Express

          249 Park Ave S
          (212) 254-5858

          1. La Petite Auberge
            116 Lexington Ave, New York 10016
            Btwn 27th & 28th St
            Excellent service, good food. The prix fixe menu is an excellent value (pretty sure the steaks comes with fries).

            Le Petit Bistro
            258 W 15th St, New York 10011
            Btwn 7th & 8th Ave
            I love the fries at this place..but it's quite casual, it's more of a cafe. Service is good but can be slow..but the fries are worth it. And it definitely fit the criteria of small.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gnomatic

              It's been a few years since I've been, but La Petite Auberge is a good value. On the other hand, atmosphere is a bit dated.
              I live basically across the st. from Le Petit Bistro. Fries can be good, but the food and service are very uneven. Wouldn't recommend going out of your way by any means. I've never had the steak.

              1. re: Lucia

                We go quite regularly to La Petite Auberge. One of the things we really like about it is that the interior hasn't changed since it opened 31 years ago. It resembles a cozy inn in Brittany, which is where the owners came from. It has the reputation for catering to a more mature clientele, but lately, I've noticed that many younger diners have discovered the restaurant's quaint charms. Very dependable food, solidly prepared and extremely efficient service.


            2. I had steak frites at Bistro Les Amis in Soho ( and enjoyed it. The price is right too.

              1. Hey, eternalX,

                I definitely recommend Cosette. We've been there a quite a few times, most recently Sunday evening. Nothing fancy about the food but solidly prepared, generous portions, and very tasty. The hanger steak/frite is one of my favorites there. (The other is the "canard aux cerises," which is what I had on Sunday.)

                Service is efficient. The owner, who is usually there, can seem a teeny bit brusque but is really a good soul. The small space is cozy and charming, and the lights are kept romantically low.

                I don't know if they take reservations because, since it's in our neighborhood, we just walk in and have always managed to get a table immediately. (We've never been there prime time on a Saturday.) Give them a call, but if you can't reserve, my guess is you won't have much difficulty getting a table on a Thursday evening before a holiday weekend.


                Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!

                3 Replies
                1. re: RGR

                  I couldn't agree more. Cosette is the closest thing that NYC has to a small parisian bistro.

                  1. re: RGR

                    I think that settles it. Have you had the au poivre too? is it a rich, cream sauce?

                    Also, I'm guessing it is not BYOB as there is no mention of it on the website, but neither is there a wine list.

                    1. re: eternalX

                      I've never had the au poivre. And you guessed correctly. It is not byo.