241 W Broadway, New York, NY (@ N. Moore St.)
George Forgeois knows a thing (or 100) about building a successful French Brasserie. The hall-of-fame restaurateur counts East Village’s Jules Bistro and Chelsea’s Le Singe Vert among his past credits, and his 1950’s-style Cercle Rouge in Tribeca serves Parisian classics reminiscent of so many late dinners in the Quartier Latin: with its Metro signs, Follies Begere posters, and constantly packed booths, the space alone is straight out of a Nouvelle Vague flick (it shares its name with a Jean-Pierre Melville film, in fact). The Buffalo-style chicken wings are a much-heralded starter, and the standard bistro dishes like steak frites, a killer charcuterie, duck confit, and the first rate foie gras terrine are among Tribeca’s best. We highly recommend coming for Sunday brunch, when a $20 prix fixe menu includes coffee and your pick of a Bloody Mary, Bellini, or Mimosa. The sunny, 30-seat sidewalk patio with views of the Hudson River is the perfect backdrop for a romantic tête-à-tête, and a hearty wine list consists mostly of French wines, available by the glass, bottle and half-bottle. Order according to how much “joie de vivre” your day can handle.
NIC JONES, FOUNDER, RENDEZ-VOUS; PARTNER, SURFACE TO AIR
“Very good French food, great wine and completely unpretentious.”
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
A, C, E, 1, 2