Best French Restaurants in NYC

October 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

From classic bistros to modern brasseries, we present the creme de la creme of French eateries in New York City.

Le Bernardin
Seafood · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.9

Prepare to dine on “a higher plane” at this “dazzling” Midtown “star” where Eric Ripert’s “world-class” tasting menus highlight “transcendent” French seafood, earning it No. 1 Food honors in NYC for the eighth year in a row; a “deep” wine list, “exemplary” staff and “soigné” surrounds further justify the “sky-high” tabs, so for a “dream-come-true” meal, this is “as good as it gets.”
Bouley at Home
Flatiron · $$$$

This multifaceted enterprise by David Bouley brings together dining and education, offering nine-course dinners – drawing on French and Asian traditions – at counters arranged around cooking stations, where chefs both prepare and serve the dishes. Designed with streamlined wooden cabinets, the setting has elements of a home kitchen, while also providing culinary classes and a bakery in the same space.
New American · East Village · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.8

Fit “for foodies or fun times” , this “sleek” East Villager “distinguishes itself” as “passionate” staffers deliver “masterful” French-American cuisine that takes market ingredients “to another level” ; add “fancy infused cocktails” from the “spectacular” bar, and those who “can’t get enough” confide it’s a “best-kept secret – but not for long.”
French · West 60s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.8

“Time after time” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s CPW flagship “lives up to its billing” with “exquisite” New French cuisine that “dazzles your palate” served “with balletlike precision” in “a serene, luxurious” setting that requires a jacket; it’ll cost a “king’s ransom” to settle the tab, but those “willing to splurge” can count on an “unforgettable” meal.
French · East 60s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.8

A “wow every time” , Daniel Boulud’s “luxurious” UES “icon” “sweeps you into another world” with “masterly” New French fare and a “rarefied atmosphere” defined by “magnificent” decor, “VIP” service and a “dressed-up” clientele (jackets are required); granted, the prix fixe–only tabs are “Himalayan” , but “you’ll understand why” – and the bar provides the “same stellar” quality à la carte.
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
Japanese · West 30s · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.7

An “off-the-charts” gastronomic “showcase” , chef Cesar Ramirez’s 18-seat counter in an “industrial” Downtown Brooklyn kitchen presents “exquisite” , Japanese-inspired French dishes via 15-plus-course tasting menus served with “Swiss-watch” form; if you’re “lucky enough” to score a reservation (and manage the “over-the-top” set price), “the phenomenal experience will stay with you for years” ; P.S. jackets required.
Gabriel Kreuther
French · West 40s · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.7

Prepare to be “wowed by” this French “standout” opposite Bryant Park, where chef Gabriel Kreuther produces “inspired” tasting menus with his signature “Alsatian twists” , served by a “seamless staff” in an “impressive” setting with “snazzy” “rustic” accents; though it’s “costly” , there’s also an à la carte bar menu if you’re “mindful of your pocketbook.”
French · Flatiron · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.6

“Sophisticated” dining “to be savored” awaits at this “top-of-the-line” Flatiron “oasis” , where chef Marco Moreira’s “knockout” French–New American plates pair with a “wine list that dazzles” in a “pristine” “adult” setting; it runs “expensive, of course” , but that makes a $29 prix fixe lunch even more of “a steal.”