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Feb 21, 2013 05:49 PM

Bistro Cassis or French Roast for dinner Saturday?

We're looking for a casual French restaurant for a Saturday night. So far Cassis and French Roast are the two names on the short-list, though I'm open to other ideas.

Requirements would be UWS from, say, Columbus Circle to Morningside Heights, with preference for W 70s-80s. Reasonable noise-level, which is in part why Nice Matin isn't on the list. Price point ~mid-$20 range on entrees. Reservations (party of three) would be desirable but not essential, although any place with a ridiculous wait would also be out.


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  1. For a number of years, I lived right up the street from French Roast. Whenever anyone came to visit, they would see it at the end of the block, with the outdoor tables and people lingering in conversation all hours of the day and night, and say, "Oh, let's go there." In all the times I went there, I can honestly report that I never had anything that impressed me as more than adequate. The atmosphere is fine, it's a great place to spend two hours with some coffee, but the food isn't exciting. I've haven't been to Bistro Cassis, but I'd lean in that direction.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Skippy1414

      I agree about French Roast. Mediocre and overpriced. I can't vouch for Bistro Cassis, though, having never been there.

      1. re: Pan

        Thanks to both of you for the feedback. We had intended to go to Cassis, but one person wasn't feeling well so we never made it.

        Based on your comments I will reconsider French Roast. My original interest was based on a comment by an acquaintance, who happens to be French, who said that the food was good. It's not as if he raved or anything, but the comment kind of piqued my interest.

        1. re: uwsgrazer

          Find out what he had that he liked.

          1. re: Pan

            Good idea. Not sure if I will have the opportunity to ask, but if I do, I will find out and report back.

    2. Wow! Bistro Cassis has to be the last place I'd ever want to dine after all of those horrible write-ups. You'd have to be a masochist to want to dine there with that staff of waiters.

      2 Replies
      1. re: arepo

        Um, I haven't really seen the abundant awful write-ups that you refer to. I've dined at Cassis several times in the past. I would say the service was on par with other NYC restaurants in that price range: adequate enough, but hardly outstanding.

      2. French Roast is down the block from us. My experience is that, for about a year between 2011 and 2012, it was decent. Before and after that, not so much.

        They recently (perhaps 3 months ago?) changed the menu, the staff and the management - much to their detriment.

        If you're looking for something like this on the UWS, a much better choice is Nice Matin on 79 and Amsterdam.

        1. I'm late on this, but I'd recommend instead trying French Coast (with a C) on Amsterdam. Very affordable, classic bistro ambiance and cleanly executed fare.

          1. French Roast (open 24/7) is great at 2 AM.
            I.M.H.O. it is not a destination for a memorable meal.
            I have never been to Bistro Cassis.