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Best French in New York

By: Cityseeker
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Balthazar Restaurant

Balthazar is a recreation of a typical French brasserie: bold, loud and exciting. The space is dominated by red leather banquettes with retro mirrors, giving it a spacious look. The restaurant is a venture by Keith McNally, who also owns Pastis in the Meatpacking District. It offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus as well as special inventories for desserts, wines and after hours. You will find items such as grilled lamb T-Bones, duck confit, and crisp Berkshire pork belly. The Sunday Brunch is particularly popular. For groups exceeding 12, special prix fixe menus are available.

New York, NY, United States
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Vin et Fleurs

As its name implies, Vin et Fleurs offers visitors plenty of great wines and floral tones throughout the restaurant's decor, whether it is a fresh bouquet of flowers on the bar or the hints of pollen in the rosé served. The menu focuses primarily on the classic french kitchen with dishes like ratatouille, mussels, steak frites and bouillabaisse, but there are still some wildcards on the list. Try the Kobe Hot Dog for a change of pace or the Osso Bucco, a nod to the Milanese favorite, both are great options. For dessert, diners will find simple, yet delectable tarte tatins, chocolate cake, creme brulée and assorted sorbets; in addition to a perfect wine pairing by the learned barkeeps, this little spot in SoHo remains inimitable.

New York, NY, United States
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Lafayette

Lafayette, owned by Andrew Carmellini, is a quaint French restaurant which whips up some delightful treats for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The cozy and artfully furnished interior is adorned in classy and attractive decor, and the establishment boasts a concept and menu derived from the tradition and culture of several parts of France, with the ingenious chefs creating some absolutely astounding variations of classic French cuisine. Sample delights like lemon pancakes, almond croissants, shrimp cocktail, salads, sandwiches, sunchoke agnolotti, bistro steal, grilled local trout, and dry aged duck among others. In addition, they have a bakery and desserts section along with an extensive drinks and wine list. The well lit interiors of the bistro-style joint are designed by Roman and Williams. The Lafayette proves to be a statement restaurant where the rich and famous hob-nob often.

New York, NY, United States
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Buvette

A lovely French-style bistro, Buvette effortlessly blends vintage with modern chic. Featuring a delightfully rustic but trendy vibe, the little bistro is a popular local spot for an elegant breakfast, light lunch or after work drink. The menu stays close to its bistro theme, serving up a nice array of retro classics like the mouth-watering selection of baked delights from flaky croissants perfect for a quick breakfast to more substantial steak tartare, ratatouille and coq au vin. A lovely spot for a quiet evening out and a nice place to enjoy the perfect glass of French wine accompanied by one of the delicious small eats, in quaint little jars and bowls, meant to be shared. Round off the evening with a slice of melt-in-the-mouth tarte tatin, for a truly satisfying experience. Since they do not accept reservations, expect a wait on weekends.

New York, NY, United States
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French Louie

French Louie offers minimalist interiors where the focus is on the gourmet food and wine. It has an elongated dining room with stark white walls, one of which features wall art depicting conifers. Guests can start their meal with appetizers such as oysters, smoked sardines and lobster cocktail. This is followed by entrees like sugar snap pea salad, a blend of peas, avocados, and basil, and mains such as lamb Navarin with baby turnips. The desserts include lime meringue tart and profiteroles served with pistachio ice cream. In the traditional French style, the meal ends with cheese from regions like Pyrénées and Normandy, accompanied by a selection of cognacs and sherries.

New York, NY, United States
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Bacchus Bistro

Located on Atlantic Avenue, Bacchus Bistro is a fine French feast. Inside is fairly rustic, and there is an outdoor area that is great in the summertime. Francophones should be delighted by the vibe and the food. Escargot and a great goat-cheese dish start things off right. Solid entree choices include boeuf bourguignon and carré d'agneau. The wine selection is extensive. Another option includes a prix-fixe menu, and weekend brunch is a treat. The staff are very attentive and friendly, definitely worth a trek to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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La Grenouille

Although this quintessential Manhattan French restaurant may be pricey, it is a thoroughly romantic place to enjoy a memorable meal. It has long been known for its spectacular floral displays, great food and good service. The prix fixe dinner along with wine makes for an interesting combination. Dishes can be ordered a la carte as well, including such delicacies as frogs' legs sauteed with garlic and tomato compote, and pan seared halibut with sorrel and cucumbers.

New York, NY, United States
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Le Bernardin

In 1986, sibling owners Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze opened Le Bernardin in New York after finding phenomenal success with their flagship restaurant in Paris, established in 1972. The duo won numerous accolades at the helm of this culinary destination, and it has continued to thrive under Chef Éric Ripert, named executive chef in 1994. Seafood has been the inspiration behind the menu at Le Bernardin since its conception. The tasting menu takes diners through courses filled with delicacies like Osetra caviar, Dungeness crab, Lobster Tail, and Black Bass. Patrons can also enjoy delectable small plates and handcrafted cocktails from the lounge if they wish to do so.

New York, NY, United States
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Benoit

World-renowned chef Alain Ducasse brings the spirit of a French bistro to New York at Benoit. Since its opening in 1995, Benoit has charmed and enticed diners with its bright, tasteful decor, illuminated with charming small touches, and, of course, the fantastic food. The cuisine is essentially classic French, from the puff-pastry encased salmon, served with a tarragon and shallot sauce, to the perfectly roasted chicken, served with roasted garlic cloves and French fries. There's a late night menu available for dining night owls, and an excellent wine list.

New York, NY, United States
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La Bonne Soupe

Food lovers take stock of this casual French Midtown charmer, which offers a warm and comfortable setting and seasonal outdoor dining. Exceptional soups like mushroom, lamb with barley, and cream of vegetable attract soup lovers from all over. For those in the mood for other dishes, the restaurant also serves quiche, omelets, fondues and salads. So when you are tired from shopping on Fifth Avenue or visiting the nearby Museum of Modern Art, settle down for lunch or dinner.

New York, NY, United States
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Brasserie Cognac

Brasserie Cognac is aptly named, for many of its dishes are laced with this spectacular eau de vie. Typically French, this brasserie serves pastas and burgers along with French appetizers and entrees. A must try is the striped bass with champagne sauce, tomato and goat cheese tart, signature chicken salad and the Filet Mignon burger. There are daily specials and a prix fixe menu too. The decor is beautiful with murals painted by hand and the large windows increase the elegant appeal of this venue. An adjacent bakery also provides some really good baguettes that are must buys.

New York, NY, United States
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Jean Georges

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's impeccable French Contemporary restaurant, located on the southwest corner of Central Park in the Trump International Hotel & Tower, offers modern French food with Pan-Asian and other modern influences. The gleaming, modern space complements phenomenal dishes like herb-crusted rack of lamb and crispy sauteed frog legs. Black-clad waiters provide unsurpassed service.

New York, NY, United States
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