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old fashioned "ladies who lunch" French bistro on UES

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Once in awhile, I crave the slightly run down, dimly lit French restaurant where, surrounded by well heeled ladies of a certain age who have time for long long lunches, I can order all the classics: celeri remoulade, coq au vin, sweatbreads, iles du neige and more. A restaurant that time and fusion-based cuisine have passed by. I used to go to Le Veau d'or but am not sure how good it is now that the owner is gone. I recently tried Sel&Poivre - which has a pleasant prix fixe menu. It was nice, but not quite the same.

I have looked at the boards here but haven't found a thread that addresses this sweet spot.

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  1. Orsay perhaps?

    1. Le Perigord is still around with the same classic menu, and there's always La Grenouille.Its still beautiful and I always order the same 'white' menu.. quenelles, cheese soufflé, oeufs a la neige,and its always perfect.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pammi

        Neither is a bistro.

      2. Good suggestions above. I love La Grenouille for that niche, although it will cost you more than Le Veau d'or. If I had to guess, I would bet that Le Veau d'or is as good as ever. I believe that M. Treboux's daughter, who had actually been running the place for some time, is still doing so.

        4 Replies
        1. re: City Kid

          As fabulous as Le Perigord and La Grenouille obviously are, do they really fit the "bistro" mould? They are first class establishments with price tags to match and I, for one, think of a bistro as a bit more modest. I agree with City Kid; if you've liked Le Veau d'Or in the past I'll bet it's just the same....minus M. Treboux, unfortunately.

          1. re: gavspen

            I'll be first here to disagee about Le Perigord being a first class establishment.

            1. re: RCC

              I have to agree that Le Perigord isn't anywhere near the caliber of La Grenouille. Or even Balthazar for that matter.

              Benoit isn't on UES but is also not too far away on 55th and 6th, It's in the former space occupied by La Cote Basque and offers a very good bistro menu.

              1. re: RCC

                I guess you're right, but still, I would think of it as a bistro.

          2. JoJo

            1. there's also l'absinthe

              2 Replies
              1. re: RebelWithaCause

                I personally think L'Absinthe is better than every other place recommended in this thread. (At least every place that's actually on the UES.)

                1. re: Sneakeater

                  I only have dinner there, so I can't speak to whether L'Absinthe caters to "ladies who lunch" (although given it's location, it would have to). But I can say they cater to "ladies who dine".

                  I was once there at dinner, and at a table near me was an extremely well-appointed elderly woman and her extremely well-appointed middle-aged daughter. They both ordered lamb chops and, to drink with them, a bottle of white Burgundy, "because that's what we always drink here." The waiter barely batted an eye.