5 new French restaurants to satisfy your Francophile desires
French cuisine is the foundation upon which most culinary activities are based, at least in the world of gastronomy. But bistro-style restaurants are where most of us dine on a regular basis, when the mood is steak and fries and good red wine. The city has welcomed quite a few new French arrivals in recent months; here are a few.
LA GAULOISE This very cute and very French little bistro has taken over part of its sister restaurant Clarkson, transforming a zebra-themed dining room into a restaurant dotted with antiques serving French classics. You will find Steak Frites, Escargots, Frisee aux Lardons and even “Nymphs Thighs”, also called frog legs. There’s lots of butter, hearty wine, and even a vintage foosball table from the Braderie de Lille flea market in France. Update: La Gauloise has closed.
2 Clarkson Street, West Village, 212-675-5535; website
Bone marrow at Pardon My French
EXCUSE MY FRENCH Although technically a reboot of the Casimir family, this little clubby place offers a contemporary take on the bistro-style restaurant that draws flavors from France and its influences around the world. Think rosemary roast shoulder of lamb, Creole cod fritters, and roasted marrow bone served with baguette. While it has all the aesthetic features of a quiet neighborhood, the underground bar-style bar and “deep house music” make it better suited for a sexy date than a dinner date with your parents.
103 Avenue B, 212-358-9683; website
Steak Tartare with fries at La Gamelle (Scott Lynch/ Gothamist)
THE BOWL The new Bowery brasserie by Mathieu Palombino de Motorino joins a few other Francophile places in the region, bringing with it a relaxed environment to enjoy French specialties at reasonable prices. La Gamelle’s charcuterie was very well received; Quick Bites columnist Scott Lynch also likes Eggs Mayonaise, Asparagus Mousseline and Spring Leeks and Hams. Lynch concludes, “If you want a great meal, don’t want to spend a fortune, and aren’t in the mood for the usual Lower Bowery scene, La Gamelle might become your new go-to neighborhood.”
241 Bowery, 212-388-0052; website
THE ANTAGONIST In Bed-Stuy, the owner of The Philosopher, Amadeus Broger, opened this sunny little restaurant serving super traditional dishes like homemade pate en croûte, duck à l’orange, steak frites and veal blanquette. You may need to request translations from your server, as none of the menu items are listed in english. Also note: the insane wine list, which includes a bottle of Bordeaux at $ 2000.
238 Malcolm X Boulevard, Bed-Stuy, 917-966-5300; website
Duck breast with endives, orange and smoked almonds at Rebelle (Evan Sung)
REBEL As previously indicated, the Bowery has become a mini Paris, also thanks in part to this new spot from the team behind Pearl & Ash. The dishes prepared here will not be so recognizable to regulars at the bisto; think greedier and less every day. From the 8-seat chef’s table, watch chef Daniel Eddy compose dishes like Duck breast with endives, orange and smoked almonds and Pork with head cheese, purple mustard and mustard leaves. Save room for pastry chef Jessica Yang’s desserts, like the seasonal rhubarb dish with lemongrass jelly, cookie and vanilla ice cream.
218 Bowery, 917-639-3880; website