Not only is the iconic Balthazar still trendy, but the kitchen rarely makes a false step. At dinner, the place is perennially packed with rail-thin lookers dressed to the nines. But the bread is great, the food is good, and the service is surprisingly friendly. The $99 three-tiered seafood platter casts the most impressive shadow of any dish in town. The frisée aux lardons is exemplary. The skate with brown butter and capers and a standard-bearing roasted chicken on mashed potatoes for two are both délicieux. Don’t hate the patrons because they’re beautiful; just join them.
Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe
80 Spring St
|Cross street:||between Broadway and Crosby St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 7:30–11:30am, noon–5pm, 5:45pm–midnight; Fri 7:30–11:30am, noon–5pm, 5:45pm–1am; Sat 8am–4pm, 5:45pm–1am; Sun 8am–4pm, 5:30pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: N, R to Prince St; 6 to Spring St|
|Price:||Average main course: $23. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|