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French Restaurant Recomendations

Hello All,

I am looking for a nice french restaruant in the city. Nothing crazy expensive but good french restaurant for a date. I work on 49th st and Park ave so anything close by would be a plus but I wouldn't hesitate to travel a little bit either. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I'm not local but I get to town a few times a year..I always liked Petit Auberge on Lex..nice little spot that suits my needs fine.

    1. It would be helpful to have a more precise idea of what you mean by not "crazy expensive. So, what is you per person budget for food only (wine, tax & tip additional)? Do you want small, intimate, and quiet or big and lively?

      La Petite Auberge suggested by hazelhurst has been a favorite of ours since it opened in the early 1970's. The traditional bistro cuisine is solidly prepared, service is efficient, and the interior has the look of a charming inn in Britanny. Its clientely skews older, so if you're looking for young and hip, this is not the place for you.

      La Petite Auberge photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      When you provide more details, I'll try to offer appropriate suggestions.

      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      10 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        If I can get away with $150 for two people that would be ideal.

        1. re: Rippin200

          With that, I'd further emphasize La Sirene. You can get out for about $100 (including tax and tip) with apps and dessert. Spend your extra $50 on a bottle of wine, and voila!

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          La Sirene
          558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: loratliff

            The cassoulet and profiteroles at La Sirene are pretty amazing.

            Also look into Raoul's, Jean Claude, and Cercle Rouge. I've also heard good things about Le Gigot.

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            Le Gigot
            18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

            Jean Claude
            137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

            Cercle Rouge
            241 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013

            La Sirene
            558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

            1. re: Riverman500

              Ah, yes, I forgot about Le Gigot. It's another that fits your budget and would be really nice for a date. (They have a good cassoulet too.)

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              Le Gigot
              18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

          2. re: Rippin200

            I highly recommend La Mangeoire, on 2nd Av., b/t 53rd & 54th Sts. 4-star Chef Christian Delouvrier, formerly of Lespinasse and ADNY, is in charge of the kitchen. No surprise, then, that the bistro classics he is serving are expertly prepared and delicious. Service is very pleasant and efficient. The restaurant has three small, cozy and charming dining rooms.
            The moderate prices should meet your budget.

            La Mangeoire photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            1. re: RGR

              I'll dissent on La Mangeoire's food being "expertly prepared" and "pleasant service". Granted that we went there around early fall of last year, the food was shabby and appeared hastily-prepared and wasn't memorable to us, the wait-staff (ours was an oldish, sullen, hated-his-job look) was un-engaged, a bad wine list, gruff and very bossy elder guy/maitre'd-and-gruff-phone-reservation person. Btw, when we were there the clientele were pretty much on the older side, in case that matters to the OP. The decor is very much into the very old very very small rural town that borders on being very depressingly overly rustic that will make you want to go out to a noisy bar (I hate noisy bar!) after your dinner.

              I'm with La Sirene (very friendly staff, tight but fun-and-lively, very good food), as well as Le Gigot.

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              Le Gigot
              18 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014

              La Sirene
              558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: RCC

                I happen to like the decor at La Mangeoire very much, but the meals I've had there have been erratic. Some good, some not so good.

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                La Mangeoire
                1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

                1. re: RCC

                  I usually agree with RGR, but on this one I dissent also. Four of us had dinner at La Mangeoire in December and it was so mediocre I find it very hard to believe Delouvrier is actually running things. We had no problem with the decor and service, just the uninspired food.

                  1. re: rrems

                    Too bad you had such a disappointing meal there, rrems. Perhaps, gos is right about the quality of the food being erratic. But we've been to La Mangeoire three times over a span of six months and have had excellent food each time. As for Delouvrier running things, I can say for a fact that he was in the kitchen two of those three times because he came out to the dining room in his whites.

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                    1. re: RGR

                      I also want to add that although I have enjoyed some of my meals at La Mangeoire (I've been there about 8 times now), it is nowhere near the level I had expected, given that Delouvrier is in the kitchen.

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                      La Mangeoire
                      1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

          3. It doesn't meet the "close by" requirement, but I absolutely love La Sirene, on Broome Street. It's very, very small so reservations are a must, but it's super intimate with no air of pretension that sometimes comes with French food. The chef/owner is a gem. It's one of the most underrated French spots in town.

            (Also, it's BYOB, so you can save some money there if you like your wine, as we do. Cash only, too.)

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            La Sirene
            558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013

            1. How about Chez Napoleon, just crosstown from you, on 50th street, between 8 and 9 avenue. I went there for the first time 2 weeks ago and was really impressed by the qualiity and authencity of the food. It's traditional French in an old-style, cozy setting with friendly service. I had the duck confit which was exquisite (as long as you're not afraid of fat) and my husband got the tripe stew special, absolutely delicious. The mussel soup starter special was also fantastic and teased our palates to return for their bouillabaisse.

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              Chez Napoleon
              365 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

              1 Reply
              1. re: wadawada

                I'm glad you recommended Chez Napoleon. I love that it's owned and run by a family, and the space is cozy and comfortable. My favorites were the escargot appetizer and calf's brain entree, the latter which we ordered for the sheer novelty of eating brain and actually quite enjoyed.

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                Chez Napoleon
                365 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

              2. If you're looking for an element of romance, take a look at Jojo.

                If you're willing to waiver a bit from French, personally, I'd recommend Ze Cafe. It's tucked away so not many people know about it, the food is very good, and the restaurant feels cozy. Not too pricey either.

                FWIW, I've been to La Mangeoire literally dozens of times - it's a block away from my parents - and have had mixed experiences. My parents love it so I entertain them by going.