New York City can be a haven for foodies. In recent years, the culinary scene has boomed with food bloggers and celebrity chefs popping up in countless press mentions, influencing our every dining decision. Though many cuisines have changed to adapt to new kinds of eaters’ appetites, one cuisine remains a classic staple: French.
As the basis of many chefs’ cooking career, french food remains a strong force in upscale restaurants all over New York. Lovely cafes line the West Village while romantic and roomy restaurants dot the Upper West Side, making for a perfect Culinary Tour de France. Thanks to a restaurant group by the same name, New Yorkers can enjoy a taste of Paris right in their backyard:
Making a gastronomic tour of France does not necessarily have to involve an airplane and calculating the exchange rate- the Tour de France Restaurant Group brings the varied and celebrated cuisines of France to Manhattan, without ever requiring a trip over the Triborough Bridge. The eight restaurants each transport diners to a different region, inviting them to experience the atmosphere and flavors of France right here in New York City.
Here’s where to get your French fix in the city –
1. French Roast
A lively cafe in the Village, this Parisian restaurant offers up affordable barista crafts in addition to a full menu and bar. Great dishes include, steak frites, croque monsieur and fruit tarts. Surprisingly, they grill good burgers too. Daily specials vary and where else can one easily find escargot at 3a?
2. Le Monde
An Upper West Side Francophone experience, Le Monde offers a world of dishes for the glory of France. From es cargot to poisson to bouillabaisse (at least on Sundays), to pommes frites and legumes, Le Monde has it covered for all things French. Avoid the fancy stuff and keep it simple: their salade de fromage de chèvre is unbeatable with its warm goat cheese cake, tomato
confit, arugula and pesto bread. Brush up on your Franglais and snootiness and enjoy.
At L’Express, the diverse French menu and good food will satisfy you at all hours, but the real party does not begin until 4am—that is when the bars close, and those still on the go need a place to gather and re-energize. Expect a loud room of diners and fabulous french fries.
Located in the heart of the theater district, this casual French Brasserie is open 24/7, and lined by a picturesque garden featuring indoor/outdoor dining areas, a smoking section and the largest (climate-controlled) umbrella in the U.S., ensuring enjoyable all-weather events. Seated under the umbrella one has a clear view of Time Square to the right, and Central Park to the left.
This no-fuss, theater district restaurant offers some authentic French and Mediterranean cuisine. The bistro-like ambience is complimented by orange walls and red leather seating. Try the Lasagna of Crab meat, mussels and shrimp served in a punchy bouillabaisse. End your meal with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart with celery sorbet.
6. Nice Matin
Located on the ground floor of the Lucerno Hotel, Nice Matin is named after the largest daily newspaper in the South of France. It offers French and Mediterranean cuisine in casual elegance. The menu is diverse; there’s everything, from vegetables stuffed with braised beef to Roast Codfish and Pissaladiere. You can never go wrong with the Monday Night special – Aioli Montre. In fact, go ahead, try anything! All dishes are superb and very well-presented.
Populated by theater lovers seeking a good dinner before their show (or a drink after the show), this is a bustling French restaurant offering up the typical fan fare at inexpensive prices. Expect a bit of snude but walk away with a full stomach and unique dining experience. Plus, the location couldn’t be better.
With a chef originally from Brittany, this place knows Alsace. Serving features such as his tarte flambée (onions and bacon) to Upper East Siders, this restaurant is brings French expertise to another level, showcasing an extravagant beer menu, too. Check for seasonal menus which include generous comfort dishes of German and French heritage.