It looks like Paris: belle époque light fixtures, posters, big sprays of fresh flowers, zinc bar.
The menu is divided between two styles. On one side are brasserie classics: boudin noir, tete de veau, poached chicken in black truffle broth, choucroute.
On the other side, more modern French dishes. The signatures include chicken roasted to order and carved at the table; Dover sole; lobster salad and, always, a duck dish.
Textbook-perfect soufflés can, and should, be ordered with your entrees. The all-French wine list is comprehensive, with many reasonably priced bottles.
227 East 67th St
212 794 4950
Balthazar is now so established in Soho that you might think it is 80 years old, not merely ten.
You also might think the brownish-yellowish tinge on the walls and the tin ceiling actually came from tobacco; never mind that indoor smoking has been banned in New York since before the restaurant opened.
Nevertheless, Balthazar has achieved the authenticity of the fond familiar.
The menu delivers the dishes you want, morning to night, at a favourite bistro: onion soup gratinee, skate wing, steak frites, salade nicoise, duck confit, smoked salmon.
Begin the day with omelets or oatmeal and end it with the comfort of baked macaroni. Balthazar’s estimable baked goods can be bought at the bakery next door.
80 Spring St
212 965 1414
Very casual, a bit boisterous, the full range of brasserie classics, from frisee salad with lardons and escargots to hanger steak and cassoulet can be had here.
The wine list is appropriately reasonable. The original Park Ave location has an adjacent market.
411 Park Ave South
212 679 4111
15 John St
212 285 8585
Small, sweet, romantic, this Village bistro is the Paris neighbourhood restaurant you dream of.
Start with oysters and move on to the namesake leg of lamb, delicious, if simple, served with flageolet beans or moules and frites, or the really, really good bouillabaisse.
18 Cornelia St
212 627 3737
As you approach, Jarnac resembles a movie set, a corner bistro with windows all around, glowing invitingly in the night.
Inside, are gracious hosts, a civilised level of noise and a menu that both hews to the bistro style and departs.
Duck rillettes are a good way to start and whatever fish is being featured may well have a Mediterranean accent; Thursday is cassoulet nigh; desserts, like the rest of the menu desserts are seasonal and often as Anglo-American as French.
Jarnac’s brunch is one of the best in town.
328 West 12th St
212 924 3413
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