This petite restaurant stands out as more than just another place that serves delicious French food with wines to match. Step through the door and you actually feel as if you have been transported to a cozy bistro on the streets of Paris. Zagat describes it as, "Paris without the airfare."
This is the real deal... with take out!
The space defines the spirit
The Murray Hill college crowd that clogs the bars and restaurants tends to gather at trendier spots. You are more likely to hear a French accent or authentic New York vowels at Le Parisien than loud OMG squeals and cell phone conversations. Sorority sisters and frat brothers are welcome, but in pairs or trios that blend well with the other guests.
The menu focuses on bien manger
Chef Johnathan Masse and owner Christian Merand bring years of culinary experience to the table. From the fresh bread and the mix of French and new world wines to the plating and lighting, every detail is orchestrated to create a harmony that fills both the heart and the stomach.
Start a dinner off with filet mignon carpaccio served with shaved Asiago cheese and truffled mushrooms or try a daily special. All the patrons are in agreement that the chef's specials are out of the ordinary taste delights. If nothing else piques your interest, try asking for a smaller serving of one of their delicious mussel entrees.
The potato puree has just the right mix of cream and butter to showcase the fresh flavor. The french fries... ah... the french fries!! Crispy perfection. Fresh vegetables are part of the design of each dish, but can also be ordered as sides.
There are no bad choices on the menu. You may find that you join the regulars who come back time and again to sample the pan roasted half chicken with wild mushrooms, potato puree and tarragon pan jus or the roasted rainbow trout with a skin spiced and crisped for a taste experience that must be repeated.
Don't think about skipping dessert. The fresh apple tart, the crème brûlée, the profiteroles, meringue floating on vanilla custard are all temptations worth the splurge. Add some Muscat wine and/or espresso and enjoy the last moments of your meal. In true European style, there will be no bill thrown hastily on your table to rush you away.
Le Parisien Bistro Restaurant at 163 East 33rd Street in Murray Hill also serves lunch daily and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The BLT gets raves at lunch and the Eggs Florentine draws the brunch crowd.
The price range is very reasonable by New York City standards. A dinner for two will range from about $40 for a simple meal to $200 with all courses and wines. After dinner take a walk around the corner and enjoy the close up view of the Empire State Building -- to remind yourself that this gem of a Paris bistro is really in New York,
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