Franco Files: Our Favorite U.S. Bistros


What’s Your Favorite U.S. Bistro?

Linda Lentz, freelance writer:

  • Balthazar in New York City
  • Pastis in New York City
  • Bistro Jo in Chicago

Jason Oliver Nixon, Style Director of Gotham, Hamptons, and Los Angeles Confidential magazines:

  • Odeon in Manhattan: The classic New York bistro. Head here for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc accompanied by an omelette aux fines herbes and crispy French fries paired with a groovy, retro setting favored by an eclectic crowd, from celebrities to families.
  • Cosette in Manhattan: Located on East 33rd Street, this vestpocket-sized bistro serves terrific fare--including a knockout roast duck and frisee aux lardons salad--with loads of panache and a price point that doesn’t require much cash.
  • Moutarde in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood: A bright and airy corner setting with loads of atmosphere and terrific steak frites or a burger loaded with Gruyere at a great price point. Great Bloody Marys, too!
  • Brasserie Jo in Boston: I love this spacious, 1940s-styled bistro in the Colonnade Hotel for the terrific breakfast selections and gracious staff. At night, nothing is better than sitting outside under the awnings and sipping a cool martini while supping on a croque monsieur.
  • Balthazar in Manhattan: Still a favorite late-night hangout where I order a terrific salad and huge plate of French fries dunked in a pot of mustard and washed down with a glass of a dry rose wine. Great people-watching, too!

Art Smith, Personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, respected author, television personality and 2002 James Beard Award nominee for his first cookbook, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family:

  • Brassiere Jo in Chicago
  • Balthazar in New York City
  • Les Halles in New York City, District of Columbia and Miami
  • Mon Ami Gabi in Chicago, Las Vegas and District of Columbia
  • Cafe Europa in Sarasota