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Guide to French Restaurant Week 2017

It’s not enough for New York to have a single, generic restaurant week — the city actually celebrates French Restaurant Week as well.  Coinciding with Bastille Day, the annual event encourages locals to Eat, Drink and Be French — so take advantage of the following tres jolie establishments, and their menus set at the revolutionary prices of $17.89, $38, and $178.90.

Bar Omar

Bar Omar
188 Grand St
Williamsburg,New York 11211
(718) 388-0411

This year-old, stateside sister of the famous Chez Omar in the Marais (which introduced Algerian fare to Parisians in the ‘70’s), is offering a duo of $38 menus during Restaurant Week.  Pick “Le Parisien” (Steak au Poivre and Pot du Crème, accompanied by a glass of French wine) or “L’Etranger;” featuring Morrocan Salad and Couscous Royale, paired with a pot of mint tea.

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Le Rivage

Le Rivage
340 W 46th St
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 765-7374

Head to this reliable, family-owned, Restaurant Row bistro, for three courses (plus glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Rosè) comprised of an extension selection of classics, from Pate de Campagne, Moules Farces and Potage de Legumes, to Truite aux Amandes, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Coq au Vin, and Tarte Maison, Chocolate Mousse, Napoleons or Crème Caramel.

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Ai Fiori

Ai Fiori
400 5th Ave
Midtown West,New York 10018
(212) 613-8660

Michael White’s Italian meets French Riviera-inspired restaurant is offering both an affordable yet wholly elegant lunch (choose Salad Niçoise, Onion Soup or Terrine de Porc, followed by Bouillabaisse or Pan-Seared Chicken and Petit Gateaux), as well as an extravagant, $178.99 dinner for two of the aforementioned items, teamed with a bottle of sommelier-selected wine.

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Vaucluse

Vaucluse
100 E 63rd St
Upper East Side,New York 10065
(646) 869-2300

If Ai Fiori has a foot in Italy, Michael White’s Vaucluse is firmly positioned in France, with faithful odes to the most elegant dishes in the Gallic canon, including Leeks Vinaigrette, Croque Madame and Strawberry Mille Feuille at lunch, and Pate en Croute, Trout Almondine, and Hazelnut Praline Tarte during dinner.

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La Gamelle

La Gamelle
241 Bowery
Bowery,New York 10002
(212) 388-0052

An unexpected French entry from Motorino’s star pizzaiolo, Mathieu Palombino, La Gamelle obeys all the touchstones of a traditional Parisian brasserie, with tiled floors, a zinc bar, and a Restaurant Week menu of Onion Soup Gratinee, Demi Poulet Roti, and Lemon Chiboust.

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Les Halles

Les Halles
15 John St
Soho,New York 10038
(212) 285-8585

Named after a famous French market place (and also infamously helmed in the ‘90’s by none other than Anthony Bourdain), Les Halles is still an ace choice for iconic brasserie fare; witness the Restaurant Week menu of Escargot and Trout Grenobloise, are the rustic, red wine-braised rooster dish, Coq au Vin.

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Le Cirque

Le Cirque
151 E 58th St.
Midtown East,New York 10022
(212) 644-0202

As much of an embodiment of moneyed, upper crust New York as refined, artistocratic France, Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque is going surprisingly casual for Restaurant Week, with both a “Menu Rapide” suitable for power lunches and pre-theater noshes (expect Fried Artichokes, Minute Steak and glasses of Champagne Laurent Perrier Brut), and a $17.89 drink and appetizer, of said artichoke and a beer.

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Cacao Bar at Mariebelle

Cacao Bar at Mariebelle
484 Broome St.
Soho,New York 10013
(212) 925-6999

Not only is Maribelle an utterly charming, artisan chocolatier, it houses and equally appealing café, where you’ll find a $38 Restaurant Week special of Melted Single Origin Dark Chocolate Fondue with seasonal fruits, followed by a savory main such as Tuna Nicoise, a Croque Madam Sandwich or Norwegian Smoked Salmon Crepe.

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