Brasserie Persil emulates the classic French café: it has rich wood paneling, stone-inlaid floors, and a wide variety of traditional French food. Brunches and lunches 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.
Tasty Crêpes's capable crepe craftsmen flip sweet and savory griddle cakes, artfully dressing them in delectable toppings that include local and sustainable fruits and vegetables. Strolling down a cafeteria-style line, patrons belly up to the serving counter to admire cooks as they sizzle traditional or whole-wheat batter on hot plates and then shout out specialty ingredients to customize their edible pouch. In honey-mustard crepes ($6.50), chicken, honey mustard, and herb crème shimmy through fluffy caverns, and chocolate brownies and bananas sweetly cohabitate inside the Brownie Passion crepe ($5.50). For satiating self-expression, diners can color a plain flour canvas ($3.99) with an assortment of cheese, meat, fruit, and nut toppings ($1 each). To wash tender morsels down hatches, nibblers can sip a 100% juice fruit smoothie—a much safer way to get your daily dosage of fruit than ransacking a still-life art class.
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.
Arcane may be in the middle of Alphabet City, but its menu reads like that of a creole café in the Caribbean: braised-conch risotto; mussels with shaved coconut; grilled beef with green papaya, chili, and lime. Its windowed doors swing open on warmer days, creating a breezy, open-air vibe that complements the island fare. Polished-wood banquettes line the exposed-brick walls, and behind a prominent wood bar, bartenders sling out rum-based cocktails such as the fruit juice-infused planters punch. The dessert menu and after-dinner drinks are another testament to Arcane’s love affair with libations, with the banana flambé set afire with rum and served alongside four types of digestifs.
After cutting his teeth on French fare at Bliss Bistro, owner Alim Maruf expands the European menu at his latest culinary project, Tapenade Bistro. Beneath its glowing yellow sign, chefs churn out tablefuls of escargots, duck confit, and steaks drizzled with wine and peppercorn sauces. Maruf invites diners to bring their own alcoholic beverages to supplement their meals, charging no corking fee and giving fermented treats a chance to catch a deep breath of air in glasses.