Perfect For: Breakfast Brunch Impressing Out of Towners Lunch People Watching

We'll keep this short and sweet. Mad action. That's what goes on at Balthazar. It's an absolute zoo. The amount of fur wearing, European tourists that pack themselves into Keith McNally's boisterous French bistro day in and day out is mind blowing. It really is quite a racket. McNally makes running a successful restaurant in NYC look like child's play. Remember, it's those visiting this city who can afford to pay $21 for poached eggs on a regular basis, not the one's who actually live in it. We spend all our money on rent and cabs.

Only at Balthazar is it possible to feel like a foreigner in your own city. We went for the first time in a while a few weekends ago, and looking around, we realized there wasn't a single other table remotely similar to us. No matter. The incredible People Watching makes scrunching into a tiny table and overpaying for brunch totally worth it. Say whatever you want about this place, you can't take away the fact that the kitchen gets it done. The food is pretty damn good. It's not a spot you'll find us hanging out very often as, clearly, this isn't our scene. But every once in a while, it's fun if you're in the right mood. Just make sure you don't go without a reservation and be sure to wear your fur boots if you want to fit in.

Food Rundown

Onion Soup Gratine

Their onion soup actually looks better than it is. The presentation is classic, in a rustic old bowl with cheese oozing down the sides, but there's something missing. That warm spoonful doesn't come together the we want it to.

Le Panier

A $19 breadbasket, welcome to Balthazar. They can get away with it because a) the bread is awesome and b) they have their own bakery next door, so you know it's fresh.

Seared Tuna Niçoise Salad

Pretty much identical to the Niçoise on the menu at Pastis, and arguably one of the best in the city. This is definitely a go-to order.

Brioche French Toast

Rolling the chronic into the brunch - two slices of of smoked bacon atop a perfect serving size of French toast.

Eggs Benedict

$21, but worth every penny. This is one of the best examples of eggs benedict you can find in town.

Eggs Norwegian

Another go-to brunch order. Beautifully runny poached eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise. If you dig smoked salmon, get on this.

Steak Frites

A can't miss order at Balthazar. The steak is good, but the frites are almost better.


Now that we think about it, you want these on the table no matter what else you're eating.

More NYC... Find Restaurants
You'll need a better browser for that!
Upgrade to Chrome and start finding Restaurants.