“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” ― Julia Child
Les Halles Restaurant on 411 Park Avenue South (at 29th Street) is by far one of my favorite French Restaurants when I am in New York. They have another branch downtown that I have never been to.
I simply have so many great memories when I think about this restaurant that I would love to share my take on this awesome place. My husband and I went there for the first time by chance. We walked around the streets of Manhattan; something we used to do when we had the weekends off together. Walking downtown on Park Avenue we discovered Les Halles Restaurant one day and just walked in. Me, as a France-lover was instantly in love with the decoration, the furniture, the bar and their assortment of wine along with this warm cozy feeling. It makes you want to sit down and enjoy their food and wine while listening to some French music.
We literally stumbled upon this place and it was in the afternoon and a little early for dinner. So we decided to stay at the bar and have a bite to eat with a glass of wine and continue our weekend-walk. I remember every little detail which is so weird. We had a bottle of their house-wine that tasted a little buttery with a somewhat crips ending. Yep, this is the sommelier talking 🙂 I actually have no idea how to describe wine but this is how it tasted. The apéritif – you got to love the French- we had Ricard. This was also a first for me and drinking it on an empty stomach makes you definitely hungry for food. To feel French you have to drink it before lunch or dinner. For a late lunch we ordered two Gratinée des Halles (classic onion soup) and Frisée aux Lardons salad (Frisée, bacon, roquefort cheese) which was so simple and mouthwatering good. Especially the Onion Soup.
We have been back quite often I must say after that. On Mondays they have the 50 Wines 50% off special so if you like wine this is the place to go. My husband took me to Les Halles on my birthday which was really special. For the first time I had Boeuf Bourguignon (beef braised in red wine) and Steak tartare (lean top round ground which was prepared next to our table).
For anyone who loves meat and the traditional French cuisine this is the place to visit. The service was very fast and friendly, especially when sitting right at the bar. (not on a date thought hahahah) If you like Anthony Bourdain, who used to work there, you might see him stopping by just to see what’s going on and chat with the staff or maybe you. The food tastes fresh and the portions are not diner-size huge but definitely big enough. I would not recommend to go there with kids in the evening however. In the evening it becomes more of a cozy/romantic sort of place and you don’t want your little ones running around between the steak tartare preparations. This place is perfect for a date-night but keep in mind to make reservations ahead of time.
There is no dress-code really but I would opt for business casual if you cannot decide what to wear. Overall it is this very authentic place that makes you feel like you sit in a brasserie in Paris.
Maybe you eat at Les Halles at some point. Let me know what you think about it.