Brasserie Persil emulates the classic French caf?: it has rich wood paneling, stone-inlaid floors, and a wide variety of traditional French food. Brunches of goat cheese and mushroom crepes or croquet monsieurs make way for elegant dinners of steak tartare, filet of sole meuniere, and beef bourgignon. Feel free to sip a French wine, beer, or espresso martini as you finish up a dessert or a doodle of yourself scaling the Eiffel Towers on your placemat.
Owners Sarac and Eddie divide up duties at Mermaid Restaurant, as Sarac infuses traditional Italian and French recipes with his signature flair in the kitchen and Eddie dotes on patrons and their imaginary dates in the dining room. Eddie and Sarac's symbiotic relationship mirrors that of their Italian and French dishes, which seamlessly mingle on the menu. Upscale entrees bridge the gap between the two countries: short cavatelli pasta brings the flavors of Italy, while côtelettes d'agneau, grilled baby lamb chops in a rhone red wine demi glace sauce, fills patrons’ mouths with French-born flavors without anyone having to lick the Eiffel Tower.
A hefty list of wines complements both the upscale fare and the ambience, with racks full of bottles surrounding the dining room. Soft light shines down, accenting hardwood floors, and crisp white tablecloths make an elegant landing pad for each dish or drink.
A wood fire crackles in a stone hearth, the warm glow of the flames lighting the inside of a cozy Victorian house. Visitors might think they've stepped into a New England country inn, if it wasn't for the white-linen-swathed tables that populate the room—not to mention the aromas of French-inspired, New American cuisine that hang in the air. The genteel space serves as the dining room of Barney's Restaurant, the brainchild of Executive Chef Mitchell Hauser. He waxes Continental with succulent foie gras, goat-cheese-crusted filet mignon, and duck confit, while also paying homage to closer-to-home culinary motifs with crab cakes, crispy-skin salmon, and mussels from Prince Edward Island. Colorful and artistic platings bring each dish to life, but the presentation is not the only area in which Barney's goes the extra mile: Mitchell and his staff scour local markets for the freshest produce to work into their menu, ensuring that each dish pops with flavor and has a passing allegiance to the region's sports organizations.
Bubbling cauldrons fill the tables at Taureau, sending up a bouquet of scents that mixes simmering cheese blends, deluxe chocolate at its melting point, and oil that adds a crispy layer to marinated meats. These smells, and the flavors that they represent, were enough to entice the staffers at Zagat, who gave the spot a coveted 27 out of 30 for their molten entrees. During each outing, diners skewer everything from carrots, strawberries and marshmallows to pork tenderloin and filet mignon before sending them deep into the tableside fondue vats. The decadent feast caters to the tastes of both vegetarians and clients with food allergies, and every portion comes with chunks of fresh bread and field green salads. Meals unfold within the romantic confines of Taureau’s BYOB dining room, which is a favorite setting for occasions ranging from first dates to intense interrogations of criminal gingerbread men.
At Winegasm Bar & Eatery, patrons poke fun at New York's smoking ban with cigars made of cheese. The menu’s housemade ricotta and feta sticks contribute delicious class to the venue's already-elegant setting: a long dining room replete with wooden shelving that features individual niches for wine bottles. At one end of the space, metal grating spirals into a curlicued design to decorate a tall archway, and the other end ensconces tables in a small alcove of exposed brick topped with a wide mirror. But it's the centerpiece of the room—a sprawling table with more than 12 chairs—that most embodies the eatery's aim of enabling shared stories, hosting communal bites, and encouraging angry juries to really consider all the evidence.
Time Out New York mentions the "sexy little winecentric spot" as an ideal place for splitting small plates. Its Mediterranean-style tapas include bacon-wrapped prunes and steamed mussels, savory openers for burgers or paninis. Also on the roster are platters of prosciutto and gruyere, specialty pizzetas, and fondue—both cheese and chocolate. Given the restaurant's name, however, many guests immediately dive into the wine list for libations from Europe and beyond, using a legend to discern if bottles are organic, made locally, or prepped sustainably. Diners can also sip cocktails and beers as well as reds and whites, tuning in to live music from area artists on Thursdays.
L'Artiste Restaurant’s executive chef Luis Santos transplants French culinary style from across the pond to his warmly lit American dining room. He often kicks off meals with complimentary amuse bouches before presenting plates loaded with tender, finely cooked cuts of meat, such as filet mignon, lamb, or salmon. After a course or two of Mr. Santos’s savories, the talents of pastry chef Hicham Lamzaouri take over to treat tongues to a passionfruit parfait with blueberry confit or a passion fig tart beneath a dollop of crème fraîche.
L'Artiste’s intimate dining space ensconces diners in warm, yellow walls dotted with the glowing orbs of round light fixtures. A massive polished wooden bar dominates the center of the room, backed by crosshatched shelves capable of holding dozens of bottles of wine or an entire clan of meerkats in its ample cubbyholes.