With its tight space, dim lighting and menu items stenciled on wall mirrors, Lucien captures the classic French bistro so well that you can almost imagine cigarette smoke hanging in the air. And like too many bistros, the serviceable food doesn’t fully shine. An appetizer of two impressively large grilled sardines comes with a soggy mound of tomato bruschetta, and though a rack of lamb is served at the correct doneness, its accompanying flageolet beans could use some more time in the pot. Bouillabaisse, which should be a seafood-stew wonder, suffers from a broth with weak and muddied flavors. Standard desserts, including flourless chocolate cake and crème brûlée, end the meal accordingly: not bad, but nothing to rave about.
14 First Ave
|Cross street:||between 1st and 2nd Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 11am–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: F, V to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average main course: $17. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|