Paris in New York
1. Zucco: Le French Diner
This tiny restaurant has so far survived the LES as the neighborhood gets more and more like Soho - and with good reason. I'm in no way exaggerating when I say that this place does not seat 20 people, and is - unsurprisingly - always packed. Amazing escargot.
2. Athom Cafe
This (inexpensive) sandwich shop is something of an anomaly, especially considering its location. But the food is amazingly fresh - the owner closes shop on Mondays in order to hand pick his ingredients - and this cafe is a charming outpost on the Bed-Stuy side of Broadway. Way off the beaten track, yes, but worth a trek for lovers of French baguettes.
3. Per Se
This upscale dining experience - and a visit here is most definitely an experience - may not be incredibly recession friendly, but is still delicious and worth an incredibly rare night out. The chefs here create two nine-course tasting menus each night, so that any given night is different than the one before it. Super expensive, but worth it.
4. La Sirene
This Soho eatery offers a wallet-friendly prix-fixe meal (1 appetizer, 1 entree and 1 dessert) for $28.95. The menu is seasonal, just as a menu should be.
5. Patisserie Claude (via Uraniumfish)
6. Artisanal Bistro (via uptowngirl)
7. Restaurant Daniel (via JVS)
Check out a great review in the New York Times: http://events.nytimes.com/2009/01/21/dining/reviews/21rest.html
8. Le Bernardin (via JVS)
9. L'Ecole: top notch French cuisine at an affordable rate, compliments of students at the French Culinary Institute.