For those of us who have to eat from afar. Most of these are in NYC and London, so if you have other local favorites, please add them in the comments! This way, if you want to go out next Thursday night, you can get your reservation in, in plenty of time.
La Fromagerie (London, Marylebone)
Amazing cheese and produce, the best French yogurts, and an adorable market-table atmosphere.
2-6 Moxon Street, Marylebone London W1U 4EW
La Petite Maison (London, Mayfair)
Elegance and refined Provençal fare, all done to the height of Mayfair sophistication. I love this place: the grilled langoustines and ratatouille are to die.
53-54 Brook’s Mews,London W1K 4EG
Le Bistro d’à Côté (New York, Upper East Side)
A casual, neighborhood place with really great food and a lovely atmosphere. I love their French Onion Soup. And anyplace that serves merguez is in my good books.
1590 1st Ave #1, New York, NY 10028
Pastis (New York, Meat Packing District)
My Mecca. Late night croque monsieurs are not the same anywhere else. And they have great cocktails, and a Belle Epoque-meets-the-future ambiance. A must.
9 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10014
Artisanal (New York, Midtown/Murray Hill)
Cheese, cheese, cheese. Mouse heaven. The fondue is ridiculous—I get it every time I go, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. If you don’t want fondue, I can heartily recommend the tuna carpaccio with ratatouille vinaigrette, the mac and cheese, the croque monsieur, and the cheese plate. All fabulous!
2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Balthazar (New York, Soho)
The best lentils I’ve ever had. Lentils, lentils, and more lentils!
80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
Kappacasein (London, Bermondsey)
This AMAZING racelette place used to trade a Borough Market. They also do Montgomery cheddar grilled cheeses. Literally the best.
1 Voyager Railway Arches, Bermondsey London SE16 4RP
Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote (London, Marylebone; New York, Midtown)
I love this place in Paris, and have written about it a zillion times. There is no menu, only sliced steak in this delicious secret sauce, fries, walnut green salad, and dessert (profiteroles are a must). The best part? You get two servings of steak frites! I’ve been to the London restaurant, and it’s just as good as the Paris one. I imagine the New York location is similar.
590 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022
120 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone London W1U 2QG
Table d’Hôte (New York, Upper East Side)
Tiny, tucked away around a corner, and ever-so-charming. I love the mussels. No fuss, and the perfect quaint date place.
44 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128
Tried and True
La Poule au Pot (London, Pimlico)
Authentic, cozy little homestyle auberge. I love this place—the food tastes homemade.
231 Ebury Street, London SW1W 8UT
Bouchon (Yountville California)
The French Onion Soup here is so thick, so flavorful—it must have some kind of prize.
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
Bisous Ciao Macarons (New York, Lower East Side)
The only place in the States so far where I’ve found true French macarons, replete with super-original flavors like lavender-honey.
101 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002
Les Halles (New York, Midtown)
A stalwart, owned by Anthony Bourdain. I go there for lunch, and love any of the meat.
411 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
Tartine (New York, Greenwich Village)
Ambiance is half of it—a darling, terraced little café in the Village? How can you not love? Also good for celebrity sightings (as is Pastis).
253 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10014
Bistro Vendome (New York, Midtown)
The atmosphere is simple, but the moules provençales, on the half shell and baked with butter and parsley and garlic, are delicious. And it’s pretty hard to find traditional fish soup in Manhattan.
405 E 58th St, New York 10022
Demarchelier (New York, Upper East Side)
I like this cozy neighborhood place, for its windowed front room and bustling bar. I always get the mussels, and the artichoke vinaigrette.
50 E 86th St #1, New York, NY 10028
L’Express (New York, Midtown/Murray Hill)
A late night or early croque monsieur never disappoints.
249 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
La Grenouille (New York, Upper East Side/Midtown)
Fancy shmancy! Where else are you getting to have a strawberry and thyme soufflé?
3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
La Mangeoire (New York, Upper East Side/Midtown)
Another restaurant that makes real Provençal home cooking.
1008 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
A fabulous French diner in Meatpacking. I miss it always!
All you can eat moules-frites on the Upper East Side for $18. And they always gave me a free glass of Sancerre. How I miss…