Back to Pastis for a Second Helping of Nostalgia

A new edition of a beloved restaurant brings simple, unadorned, hunger-obliterating French cuisine to the meatpacking district.


Comments: 106

  1. I go to a restaurant primarily for the food. The joint's ambiance is of lesser importance to my overall dining experience. That being said, of the 9 photos in the slide show, only 5 were of food and only the chocolate mousse looked divine, inviting and a possible reason to give "Pastis" a whirl. I would really like to see more food depictions because after all, in many cases, a picture is worth a 1000 words, if not four or five $ signs.

  2. @Marge Keller "You do you", as the kids say - but for many of us, ambiance is just as important as food quality when choosing a restaurant. I thought the balance between food and "ambiance" photos for this review was spot on, and gave me a much clearer idea of what eating as Pastis is like these days (I haven't been in over a decade) than a review which concentrated solely on the food.

  3. @PJ Thanks for the balanced comment. I think you are spot on because I know a lot of folks who would agree with your assessment in that ambiance is of equal importance to the food. Thanks much for sharing your point of view!

  4. @Marge Keller Dear Ms. Keller If I intend to spend more than 90 minutes at a place that charges NY City prices I figure some of it is going to be for atmosphere and hobknobbing with the rich and infamous. I don't think people went to Elaine's or Rao's just for spaghetti .

  5. I'll look at the menu but still pass on the lamb steak and go for the beef and fries. No there is not enough bread on that plate to soak up the garlic butter with the snails and as far as the oysters I think I'd need a couple dozen, thank you. I'd skip the shrimp and see if I could get a dozen Long Island top-necks on the half.

  6. It is a beautiful restaurant with beautiful human service; something we don't see much in NYC these days (human that is). I thought the food was solid the 1st time around and is as solid as this time around. This is a brasserie. The herring is exactly as it is at Lipp (although at Lipp it is filleted) and the duck is not as it is at Allard, but it should not be - it is Pastis. Happy it is back. Happy for the service. Happy for tradition and consistency. Happy for it choosing good people to work there. Cheers.

  7. Was Pastis where Carrie and the Russian dined? ("The art world waits with breath that is baited?")

  8. @Peter — That’s ‘bated breath; not ‘baited.’ You ‘bait’ a hook to catch a fish; your breath is [a]bated in anticipation or surprise. Sorry, but you tripped the switch on a pet peeve of mine.

  9. @Peter it was the only restaurant in town that snowy day!

  10. @Peter Sadly, yes.

  11. Pete Wells is really good at his job (as was Frank Bruni). Such a good read--you learn something and a sense of the particular restaurant experience in-and-of-itself and viewed through a greater industry context. And you come away convinced his review is 100% accurate (without any first hand knowledge) because it just seems honest and forthright.

  12. @ Mmm For the record, I suggested a couple of times to Frank Bruni, via comments to him in his present position of Opinion Columnists, to return part-time to Food Section and write an analysis of the connections -- if there are any -- between the politicians' food preferences and their political views. I suspect, there are: e.g., Trump devouring hamburgers or cheeseburgers held in the hands.

  13. The coolest French bistro that was ever located in the Meatpacking area was Florent. Meat packers and truckers during the day replaced by late night after party goers in the wee hours. I still remember the smell of blood in the streets when I came out on a hot languid summer's eve and watched a white suited worker in boots hosing the blood off the loading dock. That was cool and real.

  14. Post prom at Florent. 1 am. Everyone staring at the handful of 18 year olds in ill-fitted formal wear.

  15. @Apostate Restaurant Florent was where I wanted to have my proverbial “last meal”. Yes, I know that the food was secondary to the atmosphere. And that’s the point.

  16. @Apostate-I agree! I miss and loved Florent. I had supper there twice in its last week and have photos from that time of the glorious mixed bag that were trannies, finance bros and others, all co-mingling in the pre-generic ambiance that was the real meat packing district!

  17. The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small. I thought of that Woody Allen joke while looking at the enormous portions on the large plates in the photo. How can this be French cuisine when the portions belong in a buffet. Are Americans warming to French cuisine again by oversized portions? If this really is French cuisine with rich, high calorie sauces, what's to become of us. Most restaurants hide the fact of mediocre food by serving large portions. A fine French restaurant serves small portions so each bite is savored.

  18. @reaylward-Have you really been to this new incarnation of Pastis? If so, you're clearly in the minority. An it doesn't sound like you really have any idea what French cuisine is like. I rent an apt. in Paris yearly and the cuisine hasn't been anything near the "rich, high calorie sauces" you either have just read about or had in France 30 years ago. We here in NYC are thrilled Pastis has returned!

  19. @ Patou New York City, NY I find there have been to changes in the French cuisine in Paris: 1. One, for the good, is the appearance of French-Japanese restaurants, amalgamating the seafood cuisines of the two countries to a level of no equal. 2. For the worse, simplification and proletarization of the traditional cuisine under the growing influence of the uncouth militant radical left.

  20. @reaylward maybe the plates are just small.....

  21. I love the French onion soup at Pastis. On the first big snowfall of the winter, I would go to the old Pastis, have a bowl of the French onion soup and watch the snowfall. So relaxing! I'm looking forward to this winter's snowfall. I have, of course, already sampled the French onion soup at the new Pastis. It's even better than I remembered! (Maybe because I missed it so much?)

  22. The other big difference (mentioned in the photo captions but not the review) is the space is bigger than the original. That change was perhaps inevitable, given the meatpacking is now a big-box district. But I can say, from having visited last weekend, that the kitchen and staff seem fully up to the task. Pastis we missed you!

  23. The ambiance looks lovely but those prices are a stretch. Most of the menu consists of simple bistro classics. Why not invite over a friend or two or three, pour a few glasses of Crémant de Bourgogne, put on some Nina or Edith, and enjoy a leisurely evening with friends in the kitchen?

  24. @AC Chicago Sounds like a grand slam plan! We'll bring the Charlie Parker and carrot cake.

  25. Chicago prices have always been lower than NYC. Lucky you.

  26. When I lived in NYC half time it was a few blocks away from the original. I can truthfully say it was a magical place! Just thinking about it makes me happy. Things look hopeful from this review; everyone will be happy too.

  27. As a native NYer and former Pastry Chef transplanted to New Jersey (where there are no decent restaurants), I will pay my third visit to Pastis this Thursday. The food, service and ambience will keep me coming back.

  28. The ladies behind Canal House magazine just opened a place. Check it out.

  29. Some of us miss good ol' Cafe Florent, also once in the Meat Packing District -- before the very rich moved in and ruined the neighborhood.

  30. @Wondering Jew Dear WJ Money has a habit of ruining what we hold dear. Benito, a lapsed Jew.

  31. Kieslowski’s “Decalogue." Was brilliant. Just here to correct any aspersions. Where is that tasting counter?

  32. I suspect Pete’s target here is parasitic art, and not the original. Well-written review, by the way.

  33. “The onion soup, the meaty snails sloshing around in the divots of a black iron snail pan with what must be half a pint of garlic butter, and a few other old war horses from the original menu have been summoned for one more joust on the battlefield”. -The onion soup is very good-. There, I fixed it for you....

  34. Sooooo, one-star food and three-star atmosphere averages out to two stars? Sounds like how Frenchette got three stars for two-star food. Pass.

  35. @Steven M.-Frenchette is 4-star. Have you been?

  36. @Patou Yes. It's not. The food is very good, but not special, not half as good as it's next door neighbor that actually deserves the stars.

  37. @Steven M.-No accounting for taste. What "next door neighbor" to Frenchette are you hinting at?

  38. I lived in Paris for 5 years. One of the things I miss most was being about to stop in for an omelet or scrambled eggs for breakfast, Americans, near my metro and bus stop. or a bite to eat after the ballet at a bistro near Opera Garnier, alone or with a friend or friend. The reviewer writes " The paradox of this is that Pastis is really meant for those nights when you decide to cancel your reservations at the little nine-seat tasting counter where the menu is inspired by Kieslowski’s “Decalogue.” It is for those times when you get an urge to eat a Gruyère omelet after 10 p.m., cooked medium-rare, flecked with herbs, skillfully rolled and staunchly backed up by a cold white from the Savoie. Urges like that do not typically announce themselves three weeks in advance" Does this really mean I can just drop by after the theatre to have some scrambled eggs? Alone? w/o a reservation or long wait?

  39. @joan, wouldn't a 24 hour diner be a better bet - and far cheaper? I'm sure you could get canned sardines at the diner, too - although the diner probably would at least have the decency to serve them on a bed of lettuce with lemon wedges.

  40. @doy1 I think the point Joan is making is that at this point in NYC we shouldn't have to travel to the ONE place that does food like this when we get the urge, they should be all around us, like the diner that I don't think she wants.

  41. @doy, you’re going to see a lot more canned fish around as the movement is gaining momentum over here. The reason is to demonstrate the provenance. A bed of lettuce would be an attempt to hide that. I don’t know if you’ve been to Portugal or Spain, where entire canned fish stores supply incredibly well-preserved products to consumers with fierce brand loyalty. I recently returned from Lisbon with a gift box of gorgeously illustrated cans of sardines, mackerel and tuna, prepared according to old family recipes with excellent olive oil, that were amazing. A fish product in a can doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is cheap and nasty, perhaps unless it was 99c at your bodega. It’s sometimes a guarantee of quality and consistency, that’s also shelf stable and nutritious. Check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  42. Food sounds delicious, though the prices are no doubt appalling. And anyone not a tourist would no better than to be caught dead in that neighborhood at night.

  43. Ah, glad I spend much of the year in France. C'est normal ici!

  44. The legions of suckers in NY will lap it up..including the copious amounts of garlic butter.. I trust the author is not seriously comparing Brasserie Lipp with this trendy establishment. Night and day difference,old boy! Night and day.

  45. @Lord Snooty-Wow, I won't even guess how old you are if you still believe Brasserie Lipp is a happening, delicious resto. It wasn't even considered a dining destination, and it's nothing but a dowdy old tourist trap nowadays.

  46. Really, sardines served in the can?!? Is that a joke??

  47. @doy1 No joke. See the short piece this week by Florence Fabricant about a source for high-quality canned fish. There are, in fact, restaurants in Spain completely devoted to superior canned goods. Just because we have lesser quality here in the US, that does not mean the rest of the world suffers.

  48. @Suzanne Fass, my comment was not about the quality of the canned sardines - which wasn't noted one way or the other by the reviewer. I do question why anyone would go to a restaurant and pay $19 to eat a can of sardines. IMO it's ridiculous. And PS: you can buy very high-quality, sustainably-fished canned fish and other foods online - and some are even available in supermarkets now.

  49. @Suzanne Fass And Suzanne always knows of what she speaks ;)

  50. The Rolling Stones still go on tour, aching backs, creaking joints and all; and from the looks of it, Pastis still tries to channel the bohemian vibe the Odeon had back in the 80’s. Hate to say it, but the thrill is gone. Slide 2 of 9 accompanying this review says it all, does it not?

  51. "Sharing real estate with meat cutters in blood-smeared aprons and prostitutes in dresses as tight as the skins on a boudin blanc...." This never happened at Pastis. It sounds cool, reads well, but it is simply not chronologically true. C'mon now.

  52. @Oriel I worked up the block from Pastis on Ninth Avenue in 2000-2001. True, the butchers and the blood were mostly gone by then. But when I would pick up coffee at a nearby bodega at 7 AM on the way into my job, I'd frequently cross paths with ladies (back then they might have been referred to as transvestite prostitutes) getting off their work and picking up something before heading home. Pete Wells is not saying they were IN Pastis, but rather in the neighborhood. And indeed they were.

  53. @Oriel Back in 2002, I went to dinner at a restaurant in the meatpacking district that has since closed (I want to say it was Spice Market, but Wikipedia says that restaurant didn’t open until 2004), and when I came out, found that someone had slashed two tires of my car. It was raining really hard, so the tow company I called told me they couldn’t get to me for a couple of hours. So I asked friends to drop my wife home and hunkered down in the car to wait for the tow truck. Around midnight the restaurants and bars started to shut, and the prostitutes came out of the shadows. And they were in skin tight clothes, both the males and the females. A single man sitting in a parked car with the engine running was naturally assumed to be a john. I was approached several times before the tow truck finally arrived. Even got some sympathy for my plight when I explained why I was waiting. So yes, it is chronologically true.

  54. Did you raise enough money to pay for the tow?

  55. I loved the old Pastis and was always a fan of the McNally brothers with their restaurants, was very sad when Keith's Pastis closed down, it was literally across the road from me and was a great place to go, to take people and was loads of fun, so how excited I was when the new place opened. Was I going to be disappointed? Was I living in the past? OK, maybe a bit but I've been back seven times and just love it there. It's a party atmosphere, the food is fab, there's always a few people there I know, not that it means anything. And I will continue.

  56. In looking at the menu, the prices are not over the top - mostly $20s and $30s. It is increasingly the case that here are restaurants in NY where entrees lean heavily to over $40 - Union Sq Cafe, for example. I look forward to trying this, as I have a soft spot for French bistros. Here, the menu and prices are not unlike Bistro Pierre du Lapin, which just closed (and was of similar quality to Mr. McNally's Augustine). I was sad to see Pierre du Lapin close, as it was beautiful - the flowers and candle light; but the kitchen quality never matched the prices. So I'll be curious to see how Pastis compares. Steven Starr establishments tend to be busy and noisy. And this sounds like a very large room. So probably not an intimate atmosphere.

  57. @David It's still pricey, but Union Square Cafe is a bad example since service is included. Subtracting a 20% tip, 5 of their 6 entrees would be under $40 and all of their pastas under $25.

  58. @J That's a fair point, J. I had forgotten that. In that case, I can now justify going back!! : )

  59. As a true native NY'er and one who frequented the original, I am THRILLED to have Pastis back! Sorry, Pete, I don't recall prostitutes at that time in NY and I lived a few blocks from the restaurant from '97-05... I had the chance to dine again last night and have nothing but kind words. The staff and service were superb. Cocktails, perfect -I had the Pastis '99 before moving on to wine. Highly recommend the tuna crudo, the country pate, heirloom tomato salad, the escargot (yes, they will bring you extra bread to someone who commented below), steak tartar and those divine mussels. My biggest problem was always "what to order" as there are so many great hits on that menu. I guess I will just have to return soon to try more of the menu.

  60. @Christie Hi The prostitutes were certainly there. And the bloodied butchers etc. But that was in the late 80's early 90's. I met Flo back then when I was working for Reggie, his dear friend. I always liked Odeon & Balthazar over Pastis but am glad there is a new iteration for you guys to enjoy. Cheers i

  61. @Christie My dear friend Nancy, who lived at Horatio and Greenwich from the mid ’70s though the early ‘10s, has told me many stories of her friendly neighborhood sex workers who would walk her safely from the 8th Ave subway stop, knowing she lived locally. They were most definitely there.

  62. @Jamie-- for better or worse, the kindly sex worker subway chaperones were no longer on call when I lived on Horatio/Hudson (late 90s to early Aughts). Dumpsters w/hogs heads peeking out were still an occasional sight on the neighborhood morning runs, however!

  63. I LOVED the original Pastis. Had dinners there and late night meals, but I usually had lunch there, and one thing I loved was when those rooms were flooded with late-morning light. Since I usually ordered eggs, a croque madam or roast chicken, I’m good to go. A lot of us like comfort food, nicely done, in a handsome room, a reason I love Waverly Inn. We’re not all mad foodies all the time. Or even some of tbe tome. Can’t wait to try the new Pastis.

  64. @Tom Phillip The old Pastis was a lovely place but there's a reason it closed. The last five years or so the food was awful and completely overpriced. Hopefully the new one will be better although if they can't even make there signature frites consistently good, I have my doubts.

  65. Thanks for another great review, Pete Wells. Especially the bons mots - 'skirts as tight as the skin on a boudin blanc'. Sublime. I loved the old Pastis and couldn't wait to go back. So myself and the missus rode down the west side bike path for a late lunch a couple of Sundays ago and it was perfect, even better than the original. The room is big and boisterous, the service is impeccable (I didn't get any silly flavor questions, so I obviously had Keith's army serving) and the food is exactly as it should be, and at a very good price. Been back twice for dinner, both times very very good. Delighted for Keith to bounce back from his illness in such strong fashion. And delighted that this old fav is back, as strong as ever. Long may it continue.

  66. "I thought, in any case, that the sardines and the olive oil they are packed in tended to talk over the butter." Beautiful writing. I remember the old Pastis (and Florent, more missed). Sad to hear about the fries, they were legendary.

  67. yes Florent!

  68. Steamed branzino? What a waste, when it is so good over fire.

  69. Ooh la la! This is the kind of brilliant and fun writing that makes me want to catch a flight to NYC for dinner: "The ambient light is the color of a Scotch and soda and makes everybody look the way they do after you’ve drunk one."

  70. This is exactly what I want when I go out for lunch or dinner.

  71. @Apostate. I miss Florent, too!!! So many good memories. One of its Stages of Grief farewell parties featured Flotilla de Barge in a muu muu singing Macy Grey's "I Try" whose chorus is: "I try to say goodbye and I choke Try to walk away and I stumble Though I try to hide it, it's clear My world crumbles when you are not here"

  72. I frequented Pastis alot when it was in its former location, and really look forward to dining there very soon. So glad it's back and that its "second act" is wonderful. I too hung out at Florent and so miss it (and that era!)...I spent several bittersweet and fantastic nights there during its last week-and have the crazy photos to prove it (and indulge my nostalgic bouts!).

  73. I've never heard the term "medium rare" applied to eggs before. Does anyone but Pete Wells use it? I like it, and I know just what he means. I like a medium-rare frittata myself. I know I'd like Pastis too--especially that lamb steak.

  74. @CKent At my favorite breakfast place, House of Pi. in Houston I order my eggs over medium and they get it right every time BTW This is not an IHOP Like yourself I was thrown a bit by medium rare eggs but a good writer like Mr. Wells sometimes use phrases out of context to make us ruminate a bit.

  75. Two stars is quite light for Pastis. The review was a bit pretentious and comparing Pastis to places in Paris somewhat unfair and off-putting. I enjoyed my meal there last week and have no complaints!

  76. Like many of the commenters, I loved Pastis. I took it for what it was, a lovely room where people looked happy and the food was exactly what you expected. I always ordered the bar steak with the maitre’d butter, and for dessert, the tarte tatin (until they stopped serving it for some unexplained reason, when I switched to the strawberry shortcake). The tarte tatin was in my opinion the best apple dessert I’ve had anywhere, and the bar steak was as solid as anything I’ve had in Paris. All washed down with beer, or a couple of glasses of the house wine (which, in classic bistro tradition, was just this side of undrinkable, at least in my memory). I’m excited that Pastis is back, really looking forward to going there.

  77. “Sharing real estate with meat cutters in blood-smeared aprons and prostitutes in dresses as tight as the skins on a boudin blanc, Pastis did a drop-dead perfect imitation of the coolest restaurant in France.” Dear Editor, The above quote was printed in your recent review of the new (Revived?) Pastis Restaurant. The term “Prostitute” is outdated and infers tons of negative images. I think the correct term for these days is “Sex Worker”, as so many of the children and women have been forced into that life, or trafficked and have virtually no control over their lives. thank you, ethan sprague

  78. Thanks ee cummings

  79. really? no...really?!

  80. @Ethan Sprague I understand, and don’t disagree. But this is a great sentence that paints a real picture. Substituting “sex workers” here would compromise the writer’s artistry. Sometimes art isn’t pretty.

  81. I can't remember the restaurant or the reviewer, but the most hilariously accurate line I've ever read in a review here was, "No neighborhood has gone from marginal to annoying as quickly as the Meatpacking District." We can moan about the past, and the butchers probably were happier in Hunt's Point once they settled in, but - oh! - what a time we had back in the day there!

  82. Good review! "You can, however, get an energetically whisked dark-chocolate mousse under shaved curls of chocolate, or a baba au rhum so drenched in booze that it might spontaneously combust if it weren’t being restrained by a white dune of whipped Chantilly cream." This is good!

  83. If Chef Abt was responsible for the omelettes at Le Diplomate, I can't wait to go to Pastis! Le Dip's omelettes are sublime. Conversely, the mention of Brasserie Lipp sent a chill down my spine. I was there a few years ago and it was horrible! I didn't know if was possible to have such a bad meal in Paris.

  84. Keith McNally's restaurants are always good and the food makes it worth the trip. Yes, the few comments about Florent were accurate since that was a good place at all hours; however, for me the Rio Mar was the quintessential New York restaurant on Little West 12th Street. The food was outstanding, the sangria was even better, the waitstaff was exceptional and the atmosphere was classic 80's in the meat-packing district. Maybe as we get older we see things through "rose-colored glasses", but I have great memories of fun nights at the Rio Mar.

  85. @Ed Escobar Oh thank you for mentioning Rio Mar. I loved that place! So many of the wonderful old restaurants are gone, to be replaced by restaurants in which a glass of wine costs $25 dollars. I remember Rio Mar always had frittata behind the bar that was delightful!

  86. Pete, One of your best ever. ‘The ambient light is the color of a Scotch and soda and makes everybody look the way they do after you’ve drunk one.’

  87. It sounds dreadfully pretentious.

  88. I’m delighted to hear that there’s at least one restaurant making food I’d like to eat. Now, if they could dial back the noise level, and the silly decor, maybe I’ll even go. Every restaurant doesn’t have to be Disneyland.

  89. Pete Wells writes the best sentences in the whole of the New York Times.

  90. @Maryann You're not alone in thinking this, Maryann. This is just one reason why you, and the rest of us, eagerly look forward to reading the weekly reviews. Pete Wells reminds me of two great writers of the NY Times: one was RW Apple (Johnny Apple), who could write anything, from a front page political commentary, to a recipe, to a restaurant review, often in Paris. The other is the greatly lamented Herbert Muschamp, who was, for a time, the paper's architecture critic. And if you want to go back in the archives, check out Cooking with Dexter, Pete's magazine pieces about cooking with his son. They are funny and brilliant.

  91. Wish we had a critic, here in LA, who could discern and write as well as Pete Wells.

  92. Why is the complete negligence towards vegetarians not an issue for this review? There is not a single entrée that is vegetarian on any day either for lunch or for dinner. This should be called what it is - part of an ongoing backlash against vegetarianism.

  93. No. It’s not a backlash. It’s an oversight. And a stupidly lousy business decision at that, but it is not a backlash. That’s ridiculous.

  94. @Alethia Looking at the menu one could also say that it's part of an ongoing backlash against people with high cholesterol. Consider it a gift: you won't have to fight for a reservation.

  95. @Alethia I am not sure what you mean by an entrée? But... Did you look at the menu? omelettes fines herbs gruyere , pommes frites and artichauts, as well as salads -- and probably desert! Now if you are talking vegan back to salad and bread-- (and oh yes, there might be lard or chicken fat in the oil for the pommes frites!!)

  96. A picture might speak a thousand words and in terms of pictures everything looks yummy. I've been a fan of Mr. McNally forever because of ALL the wannabee restaurant kingpins ONLY Mr. McNally has stayed true to his original vision AND continually provided New York with quintessential New York eateries. Quality always great and guess what? Prices are consistently fair as well! Service is always a bit hectic but never unpleasant. I'll take a meal at Pastis or Balthazar or Odeon over any Momofuku any day of the week.

  97. Bridge and tunnel central. For better or worse.

  98. Please, Mr, Wells, explain what you mean about The Decalogue. Or anyone else.

  99. @Phoebe It's a Polish TV series based on the ten commandments directed by Poland's greatest film director. It has to do with moral dilemmas.

  100. "The ambient light is the color of a Scotch and soda and makes everybody look the way they do after you’ve drunk one. " Good writing.

  101. Ah nostalgia … and I too miss Florent-- and a couple of other -- an interesting "Spanish" eatery -- bacalao with tomatoes and green peppers.... but wandered back on W. 4th Street- last weekend-- a cramped resto St. Tropez -- delicious entrees -- loup and daube-- shared -- desert and coffee up the street - across from Café Cluny -- and something else in La Chaumiere. And the following week on E. 4th for sonju cocktails (pine) ,Korean fried chicken (KFC extra crispy) and matcha creme brulee-- best sans sugar crust Monomono -- books underglass on the walls.

  102. @Auntie Mame My memory went to Florentine as well, the pioneer on Gansevoort Street. Sounds good!

  103. Seeing the reference to long communal tables and chairs that are mismatched reminds me of a place in the Wall Street area. It was in the early 70's and it was a fish restaurant called Sloppy Louie's Very non-pretentious but they knew fish and how to cook it. My parents were visiting their 20 year old son at his clerk job working at a private bank. One of my fellow workers suggested we try it as a NY experience. He was nicknamed Buddha for his knowledge. Great lunch and wonderful atmosphere. Did anyone else go there ? When did it go away and what is there now ? I'm guessing it was close to the Fulton Fish Market. BTW I have found that places with chairs that don't match sometimes turn out surprisingly good fare.

  104. @Benito I looked in the archives of the NYT and found that Sloppy Louie's is no mas. Went when Fulton Fish Market closed. Sorry to hear that.

  105. Article was fine but ads covering the captins to the pictures are unacceptable. There were already two ads inserted at positions 5 and 10.

  106. I was at the opening night of the original Pastis when the beverage of the same name was served to those of us waiting for our reservations. There were delays of an hour or more because no one wanted to leave so Keith McNally’s gesture made everyone happy. I've since resumed treating it as my regular bistro and can say that Pete Wells is right on the money on almost everything. (By the way, Pete, the herring is not pickled, but smoked.) With a combination of McNally and Stephen Starr, you know that not only is the service first rate, but the restaurant well managed too. That the chef came from Le Diplomate seems no accident as that restaurant always makes me think someone tried to clone Balthazar--and did a pretty good job. It's very hard to understand why there are so many comments here about Florent. Yes, I too liked the place, especially after a night at MK or another club. (The endives au roquefort was simple and great.) But Florent was an inexpensive establishment that you went to at 3:00 AM, not a restaurant worthy of two stars. And while the stories of sex workers are true, although exaggerated, those of "blood in the streets" are by and large nonsense. [Note to the Times: the link next to the word "menu" is not the current menu of the restaurant.]