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La Petite Auberge: hail & Farewell

Saw in the NYT Food section and advertisement declaring the end of Petite Auberge on October 8. This affects those of you in Manhattan more directly than it does me buit that place has been a warm and relaxing island of calm on my frequent NY trips for 35 years. First Cafe des Artistes and now this: I need to find some new places for quiet (not that CdA was always quiet) and relaxation. No Led Zeppelin a la Babbo, no See-and-be-seen sorts. This is depressing.

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La Petite Auberge
116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

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  1. I dined at La Petite Auberge a few months ago and didn't think it was worth a return visit. Try Benoit, Cercle Rouge, or Jean Claude the next tme you're in town.

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    La Petite Auberge
    116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Jean Claude
    137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

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

    3 Replies
      1. re: hazelhurst

        Are you a new orleans chowhound poster? your avatar/nametage sounds familiar.

        i sure wish we had something like Galatoire's in NYC

    1. Although I haven't dined at La Petite Auberge in about 5 years (I moved away from their neighborhood), I do remember loving all of the meals that I had there. Loved their salad, onion soup, rack of lamb and souffle. Sorry to hear that it's closing.

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      La Petite Auberge
      116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

      1. That is a real shame. I will miss the frog legs, dover sole and souffle, along with the old-style bistro atmosphere and the wonderful staff.

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        La Petite Auberge
        116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

        11 Replies
        1. re: rrems

          how are the prices at la petite auberge, is it like 16 bucks for a souffle, dover sole like at 55 bucks and frog legs at like 25 bucks???

          maybe NYC no longer has space for old style French joints, only nouveau french joints need apply now, even on the Upper East Side.

          Is la petite auberge on the upper east side which i presume it is???

          thanks.

          1. re: kevin

            You presume wrong---La Petite Auberge is on Lexington & E. 28 St. The neighborhood has changed in the past 10 years (become more like a dormitory for NYU and Baruch), so the neighborhood kids wouldn't be interested (maybe their parents would have liked it).

            P.S. I moved away from the neighborhood 4 years ago as a result of my rental building becoming a virtual dormitory. I thought it was funny when my 30 year old neighbors would complain about the "kids".

            1. re: ellenost

              ah, my bad, what is that specific area called that it's located in?

              ok, i may have to make a trip there before Octo 8.

              1. re: kevin

                Some people refer (or at least used to) to it as "Curry Hill" as a result of the many Indian restaurants. Sort of a take off on Murray Hill which would be its nearest neighborhood.

                1. re: ellenost

                  I know folks who'd include it in Gramercy but, as with a lot of those things, where do you draw the line? Turtle Bay seems "bigger" than it was in the 1950's/60's.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Some people might also consider it Kips Bay, but I think Lex & 28th St., is too west for Kips Bay, too south for Murray Hill, too north for Gramercy Park, and too east for Flatiron. Needs its own name.

                    1. re: ellenost

                      It's too bad Joe Mitchell is dead. Of course in his day the area was probably known by the name of a beefsteak cook.

                      1. re: ellenost

                        I agree -- way too far north to be called Gramercy Park. As for a nickname for the area, how about NoGraPa ;)

              2. re: kevin

                kevin,

                Here is a link to their website, complete with menus:

                http://www.lapetiteaubergeny.com/

                Dover sole is not listed as it is a "special", though they have it virtually every day. The last time I had it I think it was $45. All main courses include a salad course. They also have a 3-course prix-fixe for $29.50. Pretty reasonable, and it is also on the IDine discount program.

                1. re: rrems

                  Thanks. i just checked the website and it is pretty reasonable for old school french food.

                  alas, i guess they will no longer be in existence.

                2. re: kevin

                  The links and map to the right show the location.

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                  La Petite Auberge
                  116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

              3. Hazelhurst,
                From your posts and our past exchanges about Yorkville past, I think I have a sense of what would work for you, and I would not recommend Jean Claude. Instead, try La Mangeoire on 2nd Avenue and 53rd Street--the chef is Christian Delouvrier who is cooking provencal food...The clientele is not cut-off jeans and t-shirts, etc...Here is the website:

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                La Mangeoire
                1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

                4 Replies
                1. re: penthouse pup

                  I found La Mangeoire disappointing. I don''t think it compares at all with La Petite Auberge. The menu is smaller and less interesting, and the execution was slapdash.

                  1. re: penthouse pup

                    Thanksver much for the thought and for the suggestion. It has the enormous advantage of being convenient to my usual territory although I like the Cercle Rouge idea inasmuch as it seems to be open all afternoon (but then I gottta get down there). I wish La Mangeoire has its hours posted. Certainly appears on the website to be a pleasant place.

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                    La Mangeoire
                    1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

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

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Here's their hours:
                      Lunch Mon-Fri: 12pm-2:30pm Dinner Mon-Thu: 5:30pm-10:30pm Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-11pm Sun: 5:30pm-10pm Brunch Sun: 11:30am-2:30pm

                      Maybe it's so-so as the previous poster said but given the chef, and apparently there are seasonal specials that reflect provencale cuisine, to someone like me who despises trendy, cool, buzz, precious, "hipster" nonsense, these kinds of places are worth acknowledging...

                      1. re: penthouse pup

                        Many thanks..again. I concur with your sentiments precisely. Some of the scams that are being run on the gullible are criminal. But, then, we are a long way from 1965 New York.

                  2. Boy, we haven't been back there in so many years. Sad ton see it go, it was always just "there" asan option. We will try to visit before it closes.

                    1. Hazelhurst,

                      I went to NOLA in May and your advice was a huge help. So thanks for that. I've been meaning to write it up for the NOLA board so maybe this will give me the kick in the pants I need to do that.

                      As for quiet places, I think they still exist but you have to search harder to find them now. Are you specifically looking for classic French cuisine?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ml77

                        Well, French, especially old-school, is an advantage but quiet would be welcome even if the place were Burmese. Obviously the food needs to be good..even solid and good quality will fit the bill. I am not generally a fan of forty courses of tiny Museum of Modern Art offerings which I see as a means of hiding flaws witha Wow-em-with-presentation angle. Liebling referred to such fare as "whispering little things of ethereal perfection for which [Waverly Root] and I have limited regard". That is why I miss things like des Artistes so much. Steak Tartare or pot-au-feu and a seat at the bar.

                        I am so glad that I could be of help on your NOLA trip. Look forward to your comments.

                      2. Regulars on this board know that Mr. R. and I are huge fans of La Petite Auberge. We've had many meals there -- too many to count -- and it never failed to deliver a pleasurable experience. Hoping to make it there one last time before the end. We will miss it!

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

                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com