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BEST FORLunch; dinner
RESERVATIONSNot accepted (call ahead for large groups)
PRICE (APPETIZER; ENTRÉE)USD 7-22; USD 17-33
FAMOUS PLATESPoulet Cajun; pommes frites
DRINKS AND WINEWine; beer; full bar
# OF SEATS45-50
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
METROLexington-63rd St. (F); 5th Ave.-59th St. (N, Q, R)
This tiny, hyper-fashionable French bistro would be inconspicuous if not for the constant stream of well-heeled patrons buzzing in and out. Le Bilboquet attracts an exquisite crowd with its equally exquisite Parisian bistro classics inflected with surprising flavors (try the Cajun chicken). The place is generally packed to the rafters, with patrons bumping elbows and oftentimes conversing across neighboring tables. Even at lunchtime, it’s not unheard of to see diners enjoying a bit of bubbly, and come late night, the music gets loud and the party gets started (up for dancing on the benches?). Weekend afternoon parties are legendary–get the evening going at brunch!
An Upper East Side bunch with European flair. You will also find the occasional couple.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
This is a well-dressed crowd. We’d go with a great top, designer jeans, heels, and high end accessories, or even a dressed-down cocktail dress.
GO HERE WITH
A small group of fashionable and fun friends
WHY WE LIKE IT
What could have been just another French bistro has made a name for itself with a convivial party atmosphere, day and night. And we like the inventive take on French bistro cuisine.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The space is so tiny and so cramped–they could at least accept reservations so regulars aren’t left to stand outside and endure the elements while they wait for a table. Don’t come here for a romantic evening or quiet conversation.
GOOD TO KNOW
For any who are curious: the name Le Bilboquet comes from a 16th century French children’s game which involves flipping a ball on a string into a cup. Takeout is available for those who cannot be bothered with the lines. There have been rumors about a closing (or a renovation) for a while now, but fingers crossed that this one stays put as is.
Café Milano (Washington, DC); Cucina Dell’ Arte (Palm Beach)
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