NYC Celebrates French Restaurant Week (through Sunday, 30 September)
New York’s eagerly awaited French Restaurant Week is back (now through Sunday, September 30th), with 52 participating restaurants offering not only a delicious spin on the theme “Terroir and Traditions,” but also some enticing bargains to lure patrons in. The two eateries below are among our favorites, offering modern takes on French classics and swoon-worthy, romantic environments conjuring an evening in Paris.
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar, Midtown and West Village
A sleek, contemporary restaurant with two locations, Ayza combines the perfect ingredients for a romantic evening: wine, chocolate, low lighting and subtle live music. With a selection of more than 90 wines from around the world and decadent chocolate dishes created for specific pairings, Ayza’s concept is ideal for a secluded rendezvous—but they also have one of the best weekly events in town: Girls’ Night Out, where upon arrival ladies receive a complimentary chocolate shot and Belgian-chocolate-covered strawberry. The menu offers such delectable dishes as goat-cheese brûlée salad ($12) and white-truffle pizza ($10), while the featured chocolates are created by New York’s acclaimed Xocolatti (try the pomegranate woodbury, two for $7) and Jacques Torres (his hazelnut milk-chocolate truffles are celeb favorites, nine for $15). (ayzanyc.com) 11 West 31st. St. or One Seventh Avenue South, Manhattan.
Le Comptoir, Williamsburg
Serving contemporary French fare in the heart of Brooklyn, Le Comptoir has garnered attention by offering one of the best—and most liquid—brunches in the city. For $26, patrons receive a hearty entrée alongside unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys, a deal that keeps the place packed until 4 p.m. Chef Sebastien Chamaret’s popular menu items include tartine au short rib ($12), served atop crispy French bread with a poached egg and salad, creating a succulent fusion of taste and color. (Meanwhile, a foodie friend of ours says not to miss the French toast crème brûlée and berry compote, $10). Besides the delicious food, Le Comptoir also features an outdoor garden, the perfect setting for a breezy fall afternoon. (lecomptoirny.com) 251 Grand St., Brooklyn.