After more than a decade, Balthazar – Keith McNally’s bustling, line-forming Parisian-style brasserie – has become as much of the fabric of SoHo as that neighborhood’s ancient, solid cobblestone streets. The steak frites have inspired countless imitators, and the straight-up bistro menu satisfies the inner Francophile in us all, with bowls of thick onion soup, moules frites, and don’t-spare-the-butter, garlicky escargot.
Says Bill Buford of this only-in-NYC spot: “Balthazar at eleven o’clock at night, any night, with a cone of French fries and some mayonnaise.” Frank Cisneros of Counter says it’s got the best service in town, too: “It’s like the magic hands thing everyone wants and it won’t break the bank.”
There’s also McNally’s ability to keep the who’s-who in NYC coming in for more, no better apparent than the amount of food-world movers and shakers who put it on their list here.
From its great breakfast offerings to the late-night martini sippers and oyster slurpers, like José Meirelles, Balthazar is a little slice of the City of Lights tucked away down.