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Favorite French Restaurants

Being fond of French cuisine, I would like to know your favorite spots - from the bistros and cafes to the more refined servers of the Haute stuff. I am an out-of-towner and will be visiting in either Jan. or Feb. Price is of no concern.

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  1. There are very few authentic, traditional bistros, but two that have been around for many years and are still serving excellent food are La Petite Auberge and Chez Napoleon. For haute cuisine, La Grenouille gets favorable reports on this board, and is generally considered the last of the great high-end traditional places. For more modern, there are Jean-Georges and Picholine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rrems

      Just remembered I should add to the list, Marseille.

    2. La Mangeoire, 1008 Second Avenue between 52rd & 54th. Christian Delouvrier is serving outstanding Provençal meals at comparatively modest prices in a charming setting.

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      La Mangeoire
      1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

      3 Replies
        1. re: wojiparu

          the best part of la sirene is that you can bring your own wine.

        2. re: JoanN

          I'm fond of Café Joul on 1st Ave bet 58 & 59.
          For something light, I like to fall into Le Bateau Ivre which is open quite late. The French
          crowd from the U.N. turns up there all the time.

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          Le Bateau Ivre
          230 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

        3. Do not go to Le Périgord. Tired room, boring food.

          1. La Grenouille
            Bistro Vendome
            La Mangeoire

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            La Grenouille
            3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

            La Mangeoire
            1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

            Bistro Vendome
            405 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

            1 Reply
            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Please tell us more about Bistro Vendome and La Mangeoire.

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              La Mangeoire
              1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

            2. Second (or third) La Sirene. Add Cafe d'Alsace (stick to the chooucroute and beer), Raoul's (still good after all these years), Gasgone (again, they are best at their own regional offerings), and, if you can travel, Tournesol--Long Island City, but very close to the subway. All are low key and on the smallish side--so plan ahead or go on an off hour. Please let us know what you do and how it all works out.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Upperwestsider

                Cafe d'Alsace is a good neighborhood restaurant, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. And it's not classic/traditional French - it's Alsatian. In case that matters to the OP.

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

                1. re: Upperwestsider

                  Just came back to add Gasgone to the list. You beat me to it.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    In case somebody wants to search...it's Gascogne, Not Gasgone.

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                    Gascogne
                    158 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      What's the emoticon for I'm embarrassed?

                  2. re: Upperwestsider

                    My brother and I had a very good and pleasant meal at La Sirene some time ago. Has the restaurant continued on the same high level, now that the chef has to also spend time at his fondue restaurant, Taureau, in the East Village?

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                    La Sirene
                    558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

                    Taureau
                    127 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009