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Jan 19, 2009 10:19 AM

Good French Bistro Downtown

Since this is my first post, let me first say "Hi".

I know this is like shooting fish in a barrel, but what's everyone's recommendation for a great French Bistro in the Village/SoHo area? I'm taking my wife into the city for a nice night out from the kids, going to see La Boheme at the Amato, and wanted to take her somewhere special in that area for a preshow dinner. We're both pretty traditionalist as far as fare (steak frites, cassoulet, etc.) and decor. If I can keep it under $100, even better. Thanks!

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  1. I would go to Le Gamin, 132 Houston St at Sullivan St. No cassoulet, but it fulfills the other requirements.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rpk

      I was there the other night and upon speaking to a waitress it would appear that the Houston location is closing down. Does anyone have any idea of places that are almost identical to this place? I really did love and have yet to find something in the city that is comparable in atmosphere, price, and quality. That ordering is definitely important!

    2. While I haven't been to La Sirene, there have been good reviews in the NYT, and, most recently, a positive report on the cassoulet here. It's also byob, which will cut down on your costs.

      1. Bathalzar is always great, and it's even better that you are doing preshow as it gets really crowded at dinner peak hours. It is a NYC landmark and is always buzzing with energy.

        If you prefer a more subdue and romantic atmosphere, Le Gigot in West Village will fit the bill.

        1. From what I've been reading on this board, sounds like Le Gigot is the spot. I was just giving cassoulet as an example of the type of bistro food we enjoy - the basics. No fusion, nothing fancy. Seems like Le Gigot is nice, tiny and romantic, with excellent food, which is what I'm going for, but please feel free to offer more suggestions. Thank you.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wintermute2.0

            I think that is a good choice, and they have a well price prix fixe that should work for your budget too.

            1. re: wintermute2.0

              please report back...i've never been to Gigot, but i've heard good things here and am currrently searching for a new French bistro...

              1. re: Simon

                Will do. I won't be going for a while though - early March. It's my wife's birthday, and I have the typical Teutonic flaw of having to overplan everything.

            2. Raouls on Prince St. Le Jardin( best value/quality) on Cleveland Place. Balthazar is always good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 45yearheelfan

                Has Le Jardin recovered? That would be great news. I had a disappointing meal shortly after Gerard departed several years ago and have not returned.