249 Park Ave. South, New York, NY (@ 20th St.)
Located in the Gramercy area, L’express, a 24-hour Lyonnaise bouchon, merges the traditional Southern and Northern influences of French cooking. The market-driven menu celebrates the meat and dairy products of the region, with daily sausage selections, charcuterie and cheese plates, pig’s feet, sautéed tripe, pike dumplings, accompanied by plenty of French and Belgian beers and Beaujolais. There are also usual Francophile suspects – i.e. croque madames, escargot, frisee aux lardons and skirt steak frites – done unusually well, making L’Express a haute brunch destination, though the graveyard menu consistently keeps the place just as hoppin’ in the twilight hours. The apricot crème brulee is a necessary excess any time of day, and with its classic brasserie décor, L’Express always delivers a slice of Lyon on Park Avenue. L’Express, J’adore.