Floored By Florent?

July 27, 2006 | By | COMMENTS

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Last night was supposed to be Fatty Crab night. There were six of us, and when Craig and I arrived we were informed by the rest that Fatty Crab wouldn’t seat all six of us together–they wanted to split us into three and three–and that the wait would be 1.5 hours. “1.5 hours!” everyone yelled. They were outraged. So James Felder led the charge to Florent. I didn’t argue–I’ve wanted to try Florent since reading Andy Towle’s piece on it last year—a highly commendable, incredibly thorough examination of the restaurant, its owner and its importance. I recommend you read that to learn The Florent Story; here, I’ll focus on our experience eating there.

The inside of Florent is fun and lively:

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They squeezed us in at two circular tables which were pretty uncomfortable but, admittedly, the only option for a group as large as ours. (Can’t a party of six get any love in this city?)

Our waiter was fun and funny and he handled our group expertly. We would have tipped him expertly too but gratuity was already included. (I realize some people get upset when gratuity is included, but I think it makes it easier. Unless, of course, you don’t know gratuity is already included and you tip on top of the tip and then it makes things much more expensive.)

The menu at Florent looks like a diner menu but the food is very Paris bistro. Because I’m always reading about mussels and frites at other places, I tried to give the mussels and frites here a shot—especially because the day’s special was a mussels special that came with frites. Here are my special mussels with ginger, roasted plum tomatoes, adobo, cilantro and cream:

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And here’s a crazy red evil communist picture of my frites:

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I liked the mussels ok–I’ve never been a huge fan of mussels–but the sauce was killer and I loved dipping my frites and the very crusty, very enjoyable bread into the bowl of creamy, cilnatro-ey, mussels sauce. (I offered some to Diana and she rejected it saying it was like offering someone milk from the bottom of a bowl of cereal. I found this statement to be ridiculous and said I wasn’t eating the mussels over the bowl like someone eats cereal. She then agreed to try the sauce and she liked it. I was the victor in that exchange.)

Here’s Kirk of The Daily Kirk photographing his chicken:

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He and others were less than wowed by the food. “It was just ok,” seemed to be the consensus, but at the same time I was appreciative of eating Francolicious food in a diner-like environment. And I bet it’s a fun place to go late at night/early in the morning, when drunk people are stomping around and someone’s singing on the bar.

It’s a New York experience worth experiencing. I’m glad I experienced it. I hope you’re glad too.

Categories: Manhattan, New York, Restaurant Reviews, Tribeca

  • http://wednesdaychef.typepad.com Luisa

    Having recently had the good fortune of eating at the Fatty Crab, I have to impress upon you to try again! If it’s any use, we went at 7 on a Friday night. No wait, no hassle, a lovely table, a delicious meal. It’s a great restaurant.

  • http://myspace.com/onlinerestaurantmarketing Duane

    That’s too bad that you guys couldn’t get into the Fatty Crab. Better luck next time. It’s a good thing that you found a nice alternative.

  • Jesse

    the food at Florent is solid and reliably consistent.. their salds tend to be great, and the specials are pretty good.. they can seat larger parties near the back, where the banquet curves around.. we fit ten in on Monday night.. and they’re completely open and honest about the gratuity being included, in fact i think they printed it on the receipt in all caps??

    -j

  • http://janelle.vox.com janelle

    florent never fails. the food is great, service is usually very good, it’s homey, and i love the felt boards with funny messages, weather, and news. but i want to try fatty crab sometime soon!

  • http://enrevanche.blogspot.com Barry Campbell

    Yep, Florent looks like a diner, eats like a bistro, and is open 24/7/365… you gotta love it.

  • http://www.pinknest.blogspot.com pinknest

    give me those communist fries!!

  • http://edlevineeats.com Ed Levine

    Adam,

    Your site makes me laugh. She’s wrong about the mussels sauce. It’s actually the best thing about eating mussels. The sauce is always better than the mussels.

    Let’s break bread sometime.

  • http://mylifeasareluctanthousewife.blogspot.com/ Gabriella

    now I am TOTALLY homesick.

    I was just mentioning florent the other day in my blog. Good times.