Featured by the New York Post as an authentic haven for French cuisine that stands apart from its competitors—a sea of pizzeria and takeout Chinese options—Le Bouchon woos diners with the complex bouquet of rich sauces and roasted meats that is chef Roman Nikhman's love letter to the French cooking tradition. Le Bouchon, which takes its name from the French word for wine cork, offers à la carte and banquet menus featuring sumptuous Gallic standards including foie gras drizzled with wild-berry port wine or a classic duck magret with a fig-port-wine reduction. Chef Nikhman's love for French cuisine began with its rich sauces, according to the Post, and the menu features mother sauces and reductions by the spoonful, all of which complement the broad palette of delectable proteins that include duck, lobster, escargot, and rich roasted portobello mushrooms. The knowledgeable staff can help diners choose a varietal from among the restaurant's colossal wine-barrel selection or the wine rack that takes up an entire wall, represented on a wine list 13 pages long.
At Le Comptoir, waiters ferry plates of contemporary bistro fare across scuffed hardwood floors and mixologists swirl signature cocktails behind a softly lit bar. Chefs embellish the dinner menu's savory steak, cod, and roast-chicken entrees with seasonal and local produce such as chanterelle mushrooms and butternut squash. Charcuterie and cheese boards host samples of homemade pâté and artisanal fromage, and brunch dishes out creative interpretations of breakfast classics such as eggs benedict and french toast. Patrons can perch on stools within the restaurant’s whitewashed brick walls or head to the outdoor garden to win impromptu games of don’t-touch-the-lava by scaling mosaic-tiled benches and bamboo poles.
The menu at A.O.C. conforms to the grand Parisian tradition, offering deceptively simple and hearty fare. Begin an inspired dining experience with traditional appetizers of escargot (snails cooked with pastis and garlic, $8) and quiche Lorraine (bacon and cheese in traditional pastry with mesclun salad, $8.50). Keep hunger on the ropes with the confit de canard (duck confit in Grand Marnier sauce with frisee salad, $19), or demolish the plate with the beefy knockout punch of an A.O.C. burger, a 14-ounce ground sirloin pattybomb in a soft French roll ($12). Those dining on the shortest of days—the weekend—can sample the brunch-only oeuf offerings, including eggs benedict (poached egg with hollandaise and Canadian bacon, $11), Florentine (eggs with spinach, $10), or Nordique (eggs with smoked salmon, $12). Settle a satisfied stomach with such liquid French remedies as a machiatto ($2.75) or hot glass of grog (lemon juice, honey, spiced rum, and hot water, $5.50).
After moving from the south of France to break into the New York catering world, David Benizeri decided he was finally ready to have a "window on the street," according to Jenny Miller’s New York Magazine profile. And so, in the storefront of an old barbershop, Benizeri went to work creating Beny's Delice. There, amid dark reclaimed wood and a pressed tin ceiling, he and his former catering partner Tarik Slamani created a café that blends the Mediterranean influence of Benizeri’s Riviera home with salads, sandwiches, and a "very, very traditional French pastry case" that only watches Louis Mal movies without subtitles.
Green Perrier bottles line the wood-paneled walls of the dining area, which is dotted with framed artwork depicting rainy afternoons and Moulin Rouge performers. Fragrant aromas emanate from the kitchen, where Chef Vincent Tropepe prepares Parisian bistro fare. A roster of celebrity clientele including Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bolton, and Hillary Clinton has enjoyed the refined techniques that Tropepe brings to his preparation of traditional French fare such as escargot Provençal, duck à l'orange, and crepe suzette. The menu also includes selections from Chef Tropepe's new cookbook, From Behind the Kitchen Doors, which details his career and favorite recipes. The rotating dessert selection includes a range of handmade pastries artfully adorned with meringue, fresh berries, and abstract chocolate renderings of local news anchors.