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.
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.
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.
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.
Pomme Cafe unites a menu of rich, sauce-slathered French cuisine with a sprawling wine list amid an elegant wood-paneled atmosphere. Hungry Francophiles can revel in the decadence of the duck confit, which swims in caramelized pears and garlic and is accoutered with braised port shallots over a tsoureki bread pudding ($19). The ragôut au taglietelle— a scrumptious mélange of slowly stewed beef, turkey, pork, and liberty— tastily truncates hungerdom ($14). Guests can sate thirst pangs with a signature mixed drink, such as the ginger-peach-and-lime Canton Julep ($10), or with an imported wine, such as a 2007 pinot blanc from Alsace, France ($9). Or pair a dish of béarnaise-infused hanger-steak frites ($16) with a Jenlain amber, which, like Jacques Cousteau, was born and brewed in France ($8).
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.