The mastermind behind French Tart is Chef Laurent, whose innovation earned him a gold medal for Most Creative Restaurant Dessert at the Eger Foundation’s 2011 Taste of Staten Island and whose flaky croissant recently won the New York Daily News' Best of New York award. His culinary team also whips up authentic French specialties, including sweet and savory crepes, cheese fondue, and French-style sandwiches, dashed with originality. The eatery’s ever-shifting menu has included such offerings as pan-seared salmon inside puff pastries, zucchini-flower omelets, and chocolate ravioli. Iced teas are served with a blend of rose petals, lavender, jasmine, and dried berries. Along with breakfasts, brunches, and dinners served six days a week, Chef Laurent and his crew fill gift baskets year-round with baked goods, imported French foods, and slightly smaller gift baskets.
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.
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.
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.