Alison on Dominick Street ($20-$34) 38 Dominick St. (btw. Varick St. & Hudson St.), 727-1188 M-Th 5:15pm-10pm, F-Sa 5:15pm-10:45pm, Su 5:15pm-9:30pm
This is a fine French restaurant for romantic dinners in lower Manhattan. Reservations are highly recommended. For Friday and Saturday evenings, try booking 3-4 weeks in advance.
Aureole ($32pf. lunch, $65pf. dinner) 34 East 61st St. (btw. Madison Ave. & Park Ave.), 319-1660 M-F 12pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-11:30pm, Sa 5pm-11:30pm, Su-closed For luscious American cuisine with a French influence and impeccable service, try Aureole's.
Le Bistro D'Adrienne ($20-$30 entrees) 700 Fifth Ave. The Peninsula Hotel (@ 55th St.), 903-3918 M-Sa 12pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-10pm, Su 11:30am-2:30pm A French cuisine establishment with fantastic salmon. Reservations are highly recommended!
Le Bernardin ($42pf. lunch & $70pf. dinner) 155 W. 51st St. (btw. 6th Ave. & 7th Ave.), 489-1515 M-F 12pm-2:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm, Sa 6pm-10:30pm This exquisite French seafood restaurant requires that men wear jackets at all times. Ties are optional. Reservations are required especially for weekends, which should be done well in advance.
Bouley Bakery Restaurant ($28-$34) 120 W. Broadway (@ Duane St.), 964-2525 M-Su 11:30am-3pm & 5pm-11pm French cuisine with impeccable service in a fabulous setting. Try their assortment of pastries baked on the premises. The Valhrona chocolate bread is to die for!
Cafe des Artistes ($21-$26 entrees) 1 West 67th St. (btw. Columbus & CPW), 877-3500 M-Su (12pm-3pm) & (5:30pm-12am) Authentic French cuisine, with reservations highly recommended
Can ($25 & under) 482 West Broadway (@ Houston St.), 533-6333 Su-Th 12pm-3pm & 4:30pm-11pm, Fr & Sa 12pm-3pm & 4:30pm-12am Casual dress at this French-Vietnamese restaurant.
Chanterelle ($75pf dinner,$89pf chef's tasting) 2 Harrison St (@ Hudson St), 966-6960 M 5:30pm-11pm, T-Sa 12:30pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-11pm With specials like seafood sausage and striped bass, this establishment offers some of the finest French cuisine. Reservations are highly recommended (if not required) for weekends, up to a month in advance.
La Cote Basque ($35pf. lunch, $63pf. dinner) 5 E. 55th St. (btw. 5th Ave. and Madison Ave.), 688-6525 M-F 12pm-2:30pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sa 11:30am-11:30pm, Su 5pm-10pm Superb French food served at a lovely old restaurant. As for the receptionists, their bark is worse than their bite.
L'Ecole ($25.95pf dinner) 462 Broadway (@ Grand St.), 219-3300 M-F 12pm-1:30pm & 6pm-9pm, Sa 5:30pm-9:30pm French cuisine with a contemporary flare.
Les Halles ($16-$26) 411 Park Ave. (btw. 28th St. & 29th St.), 679-4111 M-Sa 12pm-12am Try the "Best of Manhattan" French steak tartare!
Le Pactole($15-$55) 225 Liberty St. (@ World Financial Center), 945-9444 M-Su 11:30am-3pm & 5:30pm-9pm Jacket suggested, as are reservations well in advance. Classic and contemporary French cuisine.
Lespinasse ($72 avg.) 2 E. 55th St. (btw. 5th Ave & Madison Ave.), 339-6719. Tu-Sa 7am-10am, 12pm-1:45pm, 5:30pm-10pm Pretend you're in France while your eating at this palatial restaurant. The decor is a throwback to Louis XV and their vegetarian menu-items, along with classical French dishes, are superb. Reservations recommended 4 weeks in advance. Jackets and ties are required!
Montrachet ($46-$57) 239 West Broadway (btw. Walker St. & White St.),219-2777. M-Sa 12-2pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm "Nouvelle French" at its best with an extensive wine list. Reservations are required!
Raoul's ($16-$30) 180 Prince St. (btw. Thompson St. & Sullivan St.), 966-3518 M-Su 5:30pm-2am In this French bistro-style restaurant, standard French cuisine is served. Jackets and reservations are required.