For more than a decade, Balthazar Restaurant has remained New York’s casual-French gold standard, where downtown chic combines with upmarket bistro cooking. The atmosphere may seem like a bustling railway station, but it’s all French, all the time.
Balthazar Restaurant opened on April 21, 1997, and is owned by celebrity chef Keith McNally. He was born in London and moved to New York City in 1975, where he worked in a series of restaurants as a busboy, oyster-shucker, waiter, maître d’ and then as a manager of a downtown restaurant called One Fifth. Now, McNally also owns Pastis, Cafe Luxembourg, Lucky Strike, the Russian-themed bar and restaurant Pravda, Odeon in Tribeca, and Schiller’s Liquor Bar on theLower East Side.
If you’re looking for French cuisine that melts in your mouth, you’ll want to head to Balthazar Restaurant straight away.
The restaurant serves a variety of meat and poultry dishes including. Among its dishes are steak au poivre, steak frites, short ribs, beef stroganoff, duck confit, butternut squash, skate, and French onion soup (of which the brasserie serves 15 gallons daily).
Balthazar Restaurant also specializes in seafood with an array of fish entrees and a complete raw oyster and shellfish bar.
Balthazar typically serves around 1,500 guests a day, and by the far the most popular dish is steak frites; the restaurant can sell 200 per day, and out of the 200-odd employees, two full-time prep cooks are required just to handle potatoes for frying.
The restaurant does not offer take-out or delivery service; however, a menu of salads, sandwiches, breads, and pastries can be ordered from Balthazar Bakery.
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A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this restaurant has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal. Children are more than welcome to dine at this restaurant, where there’s something for everyone on the menu. The large dining space at Balthazar Restaurant provides quick and easy seating options for large groups. So, chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner fare at Balthazar Restaurant — they’re open for all three meals. If you’re looking to impress, the highly-rated French fare at Balthazar Restaurant does the job perfectly.
While Balthazar hardly stands out aesthetically these days, it remains a linchpin of the area’s restaurant circuit, where VIPs, some of them famous, eat pastries and sip coffee over newspapers at their regular tables each morning; tourists attempt to wrangle a brunch time seat; business types plot their next move; and dinnertime diners dig into classics like steak frites, which manager Erin Wendt calls the “foundation of the kitchen.” And that is Balthazar’s staying power: It is one of those rare spots that bring many walks of New York life together under one roof.
If waiting to be seated isn’t your style, plan ahead and make reservations.
Reservations can be booked up to thirty days in advance. For reservations, call 212.965.1414. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please call toll-free TTY number at 212.925.8731.
Balthazar Restaurant welcomes larger parties and private events. To plan a party at Balthazar, please email [email protected].