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.
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.
Billing itself as "funky French," Chez Oskar eschews the typical pretentions that attend French restaurants in favor of a casual but romantic aesthetic. Cooking with organic vegetables, free-range chicken, and sustainable cocoa, head chef Octavio Simancas masterminds a menu of rich hors d'oeuvres, seafood, and burgers. Salmon tartare appetizers brim with yogurt, cucumber salad, and citrus vinaigrette, and lobster crepes come stuffed with spicy lobster meat, lobster bisque, lemon, and fried leeks. Diners can dig into mustard rabbit with potato gnocchi and english peas, sink teeth into prince edward island mussels in white wine sauce, or clasp fingers around a spicy 6-ounce lamb burger with goat cheese. On Mondays and Wednesdays, live musicians fill the bistro with jazz and swing tunes hailing from the early 20th Century. Dim lighting creates a romantic ambience, encouraging candlelit tables dressed in linen to ask each other out.
Giant, red pennant flags welcome diners into Café Luluc, but that's just the beginning of the bistro's French fanfare: near the ample front windows, café chairs and small rounded tables sit beneath a giant picture of a crowded street in France. Farther back, tables dressed in crisp white linen cluster near scarlet banquettes in front of a mirrored wall. Here, guests can start their days with French toast adorned in apple compote or pancakes that expertly walk the line between crisp and fluffy. Mid-day and evening entrées include grilled hanger steak, pressed pulled pork with fontina cheese, or Arugula greens topped with roast beet, granny smith apples, and goat cheese. And no French meal would be complete without dessert: "Don't leave without sampling one of the simple but satisfying sweets: tarte Tatin, crème brulee or chocolate cake," advises Time Out.
Sebastien Aubert and Michelle Lane, co-owners of Kaz An Nou, invite guests into their home every night. Their restaurant’s name translates literally to “our house” in Guadeloupean creole, and there is something inarguably inviting about their blend of French and Caribbean flavors. They draw on these dissimilar traditions to create a menu that features wild-mushroom quiche with goat cheese and a duck leg confit with mango jerk sauce. The green vegetables, bright-yellow sauces, and meats wrapped in pink boas find an appropriately vibrant reflection in the dining room, which is notable for its red curtains and orange tables. A BYOB policy encourages guests to supplement this colorful mix with their own bottles of red or white wine.