Eating in an alley? The first thing that comes to mind is probably bad pizza consumed on a paper tray at that time in the night when you need food immediately. Plouf might be in a Financial District alley, but is basically the total opposite. They're putting out some really solid, quality French food, including some of the best mussels around. Not a paper tray in sight.
There's a definite Parisian bistro vibe going on, really kicked into overdrive by the servers' striped long-sleeved shirts (berets seems to be optional). On weekends, the crowd is touristy, maybe due to the location, but on weekdays it skews suits. But even so, Plouf remains chill, welcoming, and generally enjoyable.
The fact that the food is almost all excellent also doesn't hurt. While the mussels are the main draw, the rest of the menu holds its own as well. It's all pretty heavily French, and the chefs have a deep fondness for butter and cream. It makes everything taste pretty damn good, as long as you're prepared for a very rich meal.
We’ve hit Plouf with our parents, for a leisurely weekday lunch on a nice day, and for their awesome happy hour. If you work in the area, this needs to be added to your rotation immediately. And if you don’t, it’s worth the trip into Financial for some of those mussels (we like them, can you tell?) and a casual atmosphere with nice waiters, nicer food, and a laid-back feel that transports you out of FiDi and into a better place. Not quite France, but close enough.
Spicy curry sauce, great dipping bread, and well cooked mussels. Get the mini version for everyone to share.
Rich and saucy and classic. If you want to go traditional, these are the way to do it. You will definitely be asking for extra bread.
Yay vegetables. Really fresh asparagus plus awesome romesco sauce. The egg on top is fried and breaded. It’s weird but it works.
Yes please. A little spicy and all crab with very little filler. Order ‘em.
The polenta is rich and the big tail on shrimp are great. There is a lot of butter involved. Not complaining.
More richness. This is excellent, and the hash and cabbage alongside is stellar too. We don’t eat duck very often, and we’re happy Plouf has it on the menu.
Sort of like a lighter swordfish, this one is a little disappointing. The mushroom risotto is gummy and the fish is somewhat bland. Pass.
Too dense. It’s hard to eat more than a bite or two, which is saying a lot for us.
It’s light and creamy and delicious. Best dessert on the menu.