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.
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.
The menus at Rèst-âü-Ránt can satisfy any individual hunger, but if you go with a friend or enemy you can maintain an alliance or siege by passing or failing to pass tapas, appetizer plates, and platters. Pair a specialty beer such as Lindeman's Framboise Lambic ($8) with a sampler No-Commitment Plate (manchego, brie, prosciutto, and hot salami with country bread, olives, and a red pepper spread, $10–$17) for a crowd-pleasing starter. Keep the group talking and whittling wooden clogs late into the night with tapas of Spanish sausage (with shallots and garlic pepperoncini in red wine, $9) and Argentinean steak skewers with chimichurri sauce ($9). Or do your own mouth-thing with a specialty panini ($9) stuffed with flavor-nuclei such as gorgonzola, green apples, and figs. Take a look at Rèst-âü-Ránt's photo gallery to stimulate stomach-eyes.
Tournesol may resemble a casual French bistro, but the restaurant’s chef is anything but laidback in his approach. Christophe Morvan crafts each meal by hand for the brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. His dedication has paid off, according to the New York Times, which points out, “Many inexpensive French restaurants don’t make their own pates and terrines, but Tournesol does, as is evident in the lively, creamy terrine of foie gras.” This foie gras joins a lineup of traditional French dishes that includes quiche lorraine with bacon, escargots with tarragon sauce, and steak frites with béarnaise. Whether inside on the red banquettes or gathered around patio tables scrapbooked with photos of French soccer teams and newspaper pages, guests can order from a Eurocentric wine list sold mostly by the bottle, glass, or individual grape.
Though its name suggests a broad selection of overseas cuisine, Euro Delights’ menu sources the majority of its inspiration from Italy. Pasta with Bolognese, marinara, or vodka sauce; build-your-own pizzas; and paninis stuffed with salami, provolone, or veggies give the country ample culinary representation. This isn’t to say that other cuisines don’t make an appearance, though. France, for one, plays a role in a full slate of crepes. The Hot Feeling crepe incorporates a simple combination of sugar, butter, and cinnamon, whereas the Marie Antoinette crepe brims with Nutella, banana, strawberries, and Baileys liqueur and is served only after being sliced by the in-house guillotine.
At Winegasm Bar & Eatery, the menu?s contributes delicious class to the venue's already-elegant setting, with Time Out New York mentioning the "sexy little winecentric spot" as an ideal place for splitting small plates. Its Mediterranean-style tapas include pork belly sliders and cod croquettes, all savory openers for dishes like sicilian meatballs and lamb dumplings. But given the restaurant's name, many diners immediately dive into the wine list for libations from Europe and beyond, using a legend to discern if bottles are organic, made locally, or make a satisfying sound when broken across a ship's hull.