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French restaurants

Suggestions for French restaurants that are less expensive than Daniel and Le Bernadin but have more creative and interesting menus than standard French bistro fare?

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    1. re: Ziggy41

      +1 for Le Philosophe but note that it is a whole lot more casual and noisy than Daniel and Le Bernardin (in addition to being less expensive)

      1. re: Ziggy41

        +2 for le philosophe

        little prince is also solid, although probably a bit closer to the standard bistro fare (in terms of menu items, not quality)

        1. re: Ziggy41

          I wouldn't personally call Le Philosophe "creative" - that's not a knock, mind you, sometimes old standbys are nice. But any place where the entree menu consists of Tournedos Rossini, Blanquette de Veau, Lobster Thermidor, etc... it's not "bistro" fare, but it's not really pushing the boundaries either.

          1. re: sgordon

            I think the consensus with Le philosophe and from my experience was that nothing is as it seems on the menu and its more of creative plays on some of the classics while others may just be revived or slightly updated. e.g. "Escargot" is a mixed salad with chickpeas and black garlic instead of your normal dish (although I dont see it currently on the menu). Frog legs are actually deboned and mixed with mushrooms, sunchokes and garlic.

            1. re: Ziggy41

              Totally agree. If you read the menu, it looks like an ordinary French restaurant. It is what they do with the food that makes it so interesting.

          1. Lucien
            Le Grenouille
            Paradou
            Raoul's
            Modern ( it's French in a way)
            Chez jacqueline

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodwhisperer

              The Modern has a new chef from The NoMad. The menu has changed and now seems more American than French.

            2. Jean Georges - for the lunch prix fixe
              Boulud Sud

                1. Very casual, but with great, GREAT food: Buvette in the West Village.
                  The absolute BEST chocolate mousse in the city.

                  1. We ended up going to Café Boulod, which was fantastic--best meal of the trip! Of course it is more expensive than some of the suggestions here.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Keepcalmandcarryon

                      My favorite restaurant in NYC! Glad you enjoyed it.