Walt Disney’s imagineers couldn’t do a better job than restaurateur Keith McNally has of re-creating the perfect Parisian brasserie. But not only does Balthazar look picture-perfect with its zinc bar, smoked mirrors, soaring ceiling, and serious, vest-wearing waiters, the food hits the mark as well. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, it’s the place to come for delectable pastries, perfectly executed French classics (like steak au poivre or moules frites), and tiptop cocktails. The whole concept should feel phony, but instead the effect is charming.
- Pauline Frommer