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Balthazar?

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Has anyone been here recently? Someone recommended this to me several years ago and I never went. Thinking I may try it on my next trip next month, but wanted to get a recent review.

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Balthazar
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. I dined at Bathazar as recently as a few months ago. It's one of my two favorite restaurants in New York City. (The second is Scarpetta).

    I don't eat seafood due to allergies, but if you do, they have incredible looking plateaux of seafood.

    My favorite dishes:

    Appetizers:

    Onion Soup Gratinee - Terrific rich broth, melty onions and lots of gruyere cheese.

    Warm Goat Cheese and Carmelized Onion Tart - Tastes very French, nice way to start a meal.

    Entrees:

    Cote du Boeuf Roti for two - I love this dish! Great quality meat served with wonderful onion rings and veggies.

    Steak Frites - A decent juicy steak (though clearly not in the league of the cote du boeuf) with excellent fries. Delicious comfort food.

    On Saturdays the special is Braised Short Ribs. I am a short ribs fanatic and whenever I see them on a restaurant's menu I have to try them. Plus I make them myself long and slow, so I really love them. Balthazar's version of short ribs is excellent, with tender flavorful meat and rich sauce that makes you go Mmmmm.

    Whole Roast Free Range Chicken For Two - I only had this dish once because I rarely order roast chicken out, but it was quite good. Very tender and juicy, not overcooked. It was served with delicious mashed potatoes and haricots verts.

    Dessert:

    My very favorite is Profiteroles - Three cream puffs filled with ice cream accompanied by a gravy boat of fresh chocolate sauce. Simple, decadent, delicious! Definitely on my "deathbed" menu.

    Lemon Mille-Feuille - This is a lemon lover's paradise! A beautiful presentation, which my picture below does not do justice to, of intensely lemony treats. Very refreshing.

    Warm Chocolate Cake - While this is a very good dessert, when I want chocolate it's the profiteroles for me. If someone in your party gets this cake, the profiteroles sauce goes very well with it.

    Here are some photos from my last visit. Quality not great because I had a not so good cell phone at the time. If you click my name I posted some other Balthazar pix a while ago.

    Pix: Onion Soup, Short Ribs, Steak Frites, Profiteroles, Lemon Mille-Feuille

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    Balthazar
    80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

     
     
     
     
     
    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      +1
      Great place. Love the oysters and bone marrow. Unhealthy but tasty. Wonderful space and the staff is very friendly. Never been dissappointed. Awesome bar too.

    2. Was there Saturday night with two Parisian friends - all the food was very good. Oysters were superb. The short rib special was excellent. Someone ordered escargot, we wound up ordering another for the table. Just be aware of the need to book as it is always busy.

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      Balthazar
      80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

      1. I was there for dinner 2 weeks ago and had an amazing time. Jam packed, so get there early. We had the seafood plateau, the grilled octopus and a few side dishes. Desserts were great too...I had not been in years, but it has remained consistent.

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        Balthazar
        80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

        2 Replies
        1. re: taboo

          Anyone know if reservations are needed or accepted for lunch on a weekday?

          1. re: PappyAustin

            I always make a reservation at lunchtime. It's usually packed, I would suggest making reservations.

        2. I went back in April, and it was as good as I remembered. The atmosphere is wonderful as well, which just adds to the experience. I'm sure you need a reservation - I went on a Wednesday night and it was packed.

          1. Was there twice in two days a month ago. Breakfast, the panier and coffee, my favorite breakfast in the world. Dinner with three friends. Their LI oysters for some reason are my favorite anywhere, always freshly shucked, juicy and very plump. They blew away the ones l had at lunch that day at grand Central Oyster Bar. We had a bottle of a '95 Muscadet with them, perfect. Two of us had the Cotes du Boeuf for 2 and as with Minetta Tavern, my pick for best Cotes in country, prepared perfectly. One person had the Berkshire pork tenderloin as the Tuesday special and it came with a veg side that was so extraordinary he reordered it as a side dish again. We had a fabulous time, always love every second there. Their brandade de morue and calves liver are also stellar, liver only for lunch.

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            Balthazar
            80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

            1 Reply
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I love their calves liver too. I usually get the steak frites (black and blue) but sub mashed for fries. My favorite dessert is the pavlova.

            2. I know this thread is a little old but in the interests of not clogging up the boards, I thought I'd update this one.

              My fiance and a couple of friends are heading to Balthazar on Saturday night and we are hoping for some menu recommendations. Are there any must trys from their current menu that anyone could recommend? It seems like the steak frites are a common rec.

              Any help would be greatly appreciated. ALso, do they offer an off menu boudin noir at all?

              5 Replies
              1. re: r32nissan

                Consistently my favorite raw bar in NYC. Oysters and scallops my favorite.

                Bread great.

                Steak frites and Steak tartare are top notch.

                1. re: r32nissan

                  So here I am sitting in Paris after having had steak frites again today. I check in to see what's going on back home and after opening this thread, I think to myself that Balthazar serves better steak frites than most of what I've had over the last week but the tartare over here is much better. Seafood plateau is awesome along with the bone marrow. I can make a meal of that but I don't tell my cardiologist though.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    Better than the original l'entrecote in Paris (which admittedly is probably now more about the ambience and history then the food)? I don't seem to see the bone marrow on the menu but hope very much that its still available as I am a marrow fiend. Interesting comment regarding the tartare as I was going to order this (it's been a very long time since I'd had tartare).

                    1. re: r32nissan

                      Which l'entrecote? There are several, but I think it's as much about the atmosphere as its is the food at any of the locations. Only one thing on the menu until dessert is part of the charm. But I think the beef quality at Balthazar is better and the atmosphere there is pretty great too.

                      The preparation of the tartare is much better in Paris. What different things can you do with raw beef? You can ask the same about fish and we make all sorts of distinctions about who serves better raw fish. Had a great version at Cafe des Musees in the Marais. After we ordered lunch, a French couple came in and ordered nothing but the tartare. Finished quickly and off they went looking quite happy. I was very happy with it too.

                      About the bone marrow, I just checked the menu and don't see it. I was last there about 3/4 months ago and had it. 3 huge bones sprinkled with bread crumbs and parsley with plenty of toast. If you go, just ask about it. Maybe one of the off menu items.

                      1. re: Bkeats

                        L'Entrecôte Porte-Maillot was the one i was referring to.

                        Re: Bone marrow - will definitely be asking about it. Although I fear it may have gone the way of the Cote de beouf also and made its permantently onto the Minetta menu (which I adore).

                        Thanks

                2. Balthazar is still consistently good. The onion soup and oysters for sure. They have great bread. Make a reservation, but if for some reason you don't you can still get in lunch time, but may have to wait . It is always packed

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Thanks for the tip. Fruits de mer and onion soup sound like must trys. I loved the bread at MInetta so expect Balthazar to be just as good.

                    We have a reservation for Saturday night so all should be well.

                    1. re: r32nissan

                      l think the bread better than Minetta, can just get the outside crusts of the miche. Note they no longer have the cotes de boeuf for two, now chateaubriand and l am not a filet guy.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        I'll be steering clear of the chateaubriand as I am a strong advocate for the cote de boeuf at minetta and also am not a huge fan of filet. I might get the chicken for 2 as I've heard some good things about that.

                        Thanks for the tip

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Hey what happened? Did the stepchild Minetta get the cotes du boeuf and Mama Balthazar is stuck with the Chateaubriand? Bah!

                          Seriously though, has anyone tried the Chateaubriand? Wondering about it.

                    2. In addition to the mulitple mentioned Steak Frites (while there frites are good, I opt for their mashed instead), the calves liver is really good too. The onion soup is great, they've had a special creamy soup with topped crabmeat, which while good, is not as good as their onion soup. For dessert, I usually get the Pavlova.

                      1. I'm visiting in November for my partners 50th birthday. This sounds fantastic. In regards to budget, can evening dinner be done for between $80-$100 per person including tax/tip?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: cabal101

                          With moderately expensive wines last time through was $400 for 4 of us all inclusive

                          1. re: cabal101

                            Were you aware the menu is online, with prices?

                            You can strategize your meal here:

                            http://balthazarny.com/menus/dinner.pdf

                            1. re: thegforceny

                              Thanks, I couldn't open the website from my phone. I'll take a look later. As for alcohol, we're not big drinkers, maybe a couple of glasses of white wine

                              1. re: cabal101

                                You should have no problem.