Mon - Thu: 7:30AM - 1AM
Fri: 7:30AM - 2AM
Sat: 8AM - 2AM
Sun: 8AM - Midnight
“Keith McNally has a perennial winner” in this “splashy” SoHo brasserie, supplying “delectable” French fare (including “delish breakfasts” and a “fabulous” bread basket) in a “Left Bank”–style space perpetually “abuzz” with “tourists, natives” and “famous” folks; despite “shoehorned” seating and “challenging” acoustics, it “has an electricity of its own” that “never gets old.”
Restaurateur Keith McNally's various Manhattan establishments all have similar defining characteristics: Edison light bulbs, antique mirrors, eccentric tiling, liquor bottles perfectly illuminated behind the bar. But Balthazar, a classic Parisian-style brasserie that wouldn't have been out of place in Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, is McNally's crowning achievement. It's here that you can live out your own Lost Generation fantasy, sitting shoulder to shoulder with New York's media elite (at least during weekday breakfast and lunch service), and perhaps eavesdropping on a book editor's conversation about the Next Great American Novel.
McNally puts a twist on Keith Richards' favorite dish, shepherd's pie, swapping out beef for duck and topping it with a thin layer of mashed potatoes and a dark gravy that rivals any grandmother's secret recipe. Call at least a week ahead for a reservation, and if you don't mind things a little loud and crowded, opt for the weekday breakfast or weekend brunch. Though the breakfast menu is simple, there's something extravagant about ordering a soft-boiled egg in a restaurant, which Balthazar cooks with scientific precision. The brioche French toast is as lavish as breakfast gets, as long as you have no qualms about paying $19.50 for French toast.
6 to Spring St.; N/R to Prince; B/D/F/M to Broadway/Lafayette
What to tell a cabbie
Take me to the corner of Spring and Broadway
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