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Balthazar: worth the price?

Ok, so I recognize that this is an inherently subjective question, but I was kinda shocked perusing the Balthazar menu at their prices: $44 for the bouillabaisse, for example; or $19 for the frisee aux lardons. Not the kinda pricing I think of when I think of a classic French bistro. Thoughts?

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  1. French bistro in NYC has a whole different meaning I suppose.

    1. It's Soho, it's famous, it has celebrity clientele, it's Keith McNally, it's been on TV...

      See also:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/mag...

      2 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          Ditto as well. We've had lunch there a few times and liked enough to keep going back.

      1. Maybe I've been in NYC too long but those prices don't even seem out of line to me for the type of place Balthazar is. I sorta think of its as a reasonably priced Soho spot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bkeats

          I agree, but if you knew nothing about the place and were expecting it to be a "classic French bistro" as the OP put it, the prices would seem outrageous.

          1. re: ttoommyy

            I know exactly what to expect.

            Ok, that's an overstatement; I didn't expect the prices to be that high!

        2. I've always thought Balthazar was much too expensive for what you get. No one seems to complain though, and it's always packed. Maybe because it's "French" they can charge more.

          1. I never realized how expensive it is until I had breakfast there recently and this time I had to pay for it.

            Eggs Benedict with homefries $21 - Would have been nice to get more than 6 little homefries.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ziggy41

              I had breakfast there this morning and as always loved it. Yeah expensive, but everything was excellent and I go when they open, and it is quiet, a little classical music playing in the backround. I get a four top, spread out the paper with a bowl of coffee, then some eggs and home fries(a good size portion with sautéed onions) some bacon and wheat toast, plenty of butter. They leave me alone and after about an hour and the place is packed I leave. Many other excellentmenu choices. Nothing unique but for me it is in the right place and often enough, at the right time. Expensive but good quality ingredients, well executed in a perfect setting. Ya gotta pay for your pleasure.