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Pete Wells' Favorite NYC Bars


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I used to go to all those West 50s French places a lot, when I was very much younger (and they were still there). That's where I learned about French food. I guess that's why cuisine bourgeois is still what I like the best.

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Of those places, I quite liked Rene Pujol (closed).

 

It's not too late to visit L'Absinthe. Same chef for many years, and I've never had a bad meal. Some of the best dishes are cold weather dishes, I suppose, but that surely won't deter you.

 

Oh, they have pig's trotters stuffed with foie. I've not eaten that.

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My favorite was probably Pierre au Tunnel (closed), because that was the only place I knew where you could always get tete de veau.

 

Rene Pujol was wonderful, my inexperienced self thought (although it lost a little when it went upscale in its last years).

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Tete de veau, sauce gribiche and leeks in a light vinaigrette was my regular appetizer at L'Absinthe. It's not always on the menu now.

 

Thinking wistfully of Frankie's, but not sure I have the energy for the journey this evening.

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Oh. Brandy's Piano Bar looks well worth adding to the list.

 

Except for the location.

 

 

I actually prefer Brandy's to say Marie's Crisis (except for the location)...but if you happen to be on a date up there...it's a reliably fun option. Similar clientele to the WV piano bars.

 

I thought the list was very good.

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I hate to say it, but Marie's is not what it was. Partly the talent - some of the pianists are not as funny as they think they are - partly because, inevitably, it now swarms with breeders young couples and tourists.

 

Mind you, the upstairs bar at the Duplex is practically "mixed" these days.

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