Will you remember the classic French bistro dishes at Cafe Luxembourg forever? Absolutely not. But you will remember the experience, and the fact that you may see Fran Lebowitz taking a meeting in a corner booth with two extremely tall people. This classic Upper West Side restaurant (owned by the same team as The Odeon in Tribeca) is more about dining in a dim-lit, red-leather booth institution than it is about any singular plate of food. Having said that, you could order the French onion soup and a martini, and be perfectly satisfied by your meal here.
French Onion Soup
Aside from the people-watching and occasional slurp of a cold martini, we’ve always believed that the best part of eating at Cafe Luxembourg is the appetizer round. Their French onion soup tastes like a piping hot crock of liquified onions went on a week-long road trip with some cattle and never opened the windows. It’s endlessly rich, and topped with a raft of melted gruyere. There is truly no way to eat this without filling the saucer below the bowl with spilled soup and soggy breadcrumbs. Enjoy.
Mixed Greens Salad
You could opt for a country frisee with blue cheese, bacon lardon, and a poached egg, but we prefer to go a little lighter with this simple mixed greens salad dressed with a conservative amount of roasted shallot sherry vinaigrette.
NY Strip Steak Frites
What is a meal at an old-timey French bistro without a proper piece of steak and some McDonald’s-esque shoestring fries? There’s nothing wrong with this 8-ounce aged prime rib NY strip steak inherently (the meat is cooked well and you can choose your accompanying sauce). It just feels a bit small and naked on the plate for $42. Our advice? Skip the sauce au poivre, which tastes more like French onion soup concentrate than pepper and cream.
Does this mountain of ice cream-stuffed choux pastry globes taste like it was topped with Hershey’s chocolate sauce? Possibly. Do we continue to order it regardless? Absolutely.