Bad things happen when you pack too many tiny tables within inches of one another. At Café du Soleil, where the average two-top feels like it’s the width of half a person, silverware falls to the floor, waiters kick the back of your chair, menus catch fire from tabletop candles (ours did at least), and conversations (not to mention elbows) from adjacent tables constantly get in the way of your own. The decor inside the Upper West Side’s noisy provençal restaurant comes straight out of the Brasserie 101 manual: It’s an open room with oversize mirrors, hanging ball lamps and vintage French signs. The food tends to be either too salty, as evidenced in the calamari and the steak frites, or too bland, as in the pot-au-feu of shellfish in a weak saffron broth. The busboys and waiters do their darnedest to impress, refilling water and refolding napkins, but when the place is packed, the sense of chaos is unavoidable.
Café du Soleil
|Venue name:||Café du Soleil||Contact:|
|Cross street:||between 104th and 105th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 6–11pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to 103rd St|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx|