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. Chef Laurent was also recently featured on Fox 5's Good Day New York for their croissants, quiche, and chocolate truffles. With its wide array of classic baked goods, French Tart's bakery makes an ideal stop for coffee and a pastry. In the evening, French Tart transforms into a traditional French bistro restaurant.
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.
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 caf? 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.
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.