14 1st Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.731378 -73.982266
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
Lil' Bit of Paris in New York.
After our recent visit to Paris, we were yearning for that little Bistro, we loved so much. Who knew we would find it in NYC.
Close your eyes and you are in Paris. From our beautiful waitress, who grew up in Paris, to the delicious food we were about to experience. Foie Gras Mousse that was rich and creamy on toast points, and the Squab that was served beautifully on risotto, with wild mushrooms. This is the way it should be done. A family owned business, with the owners son, working tables, and the owner himself sitting down with us having a wonderful Calvados, to accompany the perfectly made Creme Brulee, with essence on fresh mint, and Chocolate Cake, to die for. We were having such a great time, we missed the first half hour of the Broadway show, we were going to.
One of the worst meals I've had in NYC! – My BF and I made a reservation and still had to wait 45min. We would have left but it was peak dinner hour on a Saturday night so we figured it would be the same everywhere else.
The service was rushed. My BF's mussels were overcooked and he actually had to spit one out in his napkin because it tasted so bad. I ordered Linguini with clams and it was awful. Pasta was undercooked and stuck together, clams did not taste right. It was so noisy we barely heard each other.
Quite frankly, I don't know why this place is always so crowded. I think they just say yes to all reservation requests, whether they can accommodate them or not, in order to look like they are serving something people are dying to eat. Trust me, there are plenty of better French Bistros in NYC.
Don't bother making a reservation. They don't honor them. I made an 8:30pm reservation. Upon arriving early (8:15pm), I was told that all reservations were pushed back a bit, which is reasonable considering that it was a Saturday night. When the hostess came back around at about 8:35pm, out of curiosity, I asked how much farther back are reservations being pushed. Her response was "well, there are a few people ahead of you that don't have reservations, so we have to get to them first." Ok. So if that makes sense to you then I am sure you won't mind this restaurant. But, if that seems retarded, then yes, THAT'S "F" ing RETARDED. I waited another 10 minutes and then left. We walked down the street and went into Guayoyo. It was just as busy there, but we found a spot at the bar. Despite being crazy busy, the bartender was very attentive. We enjoyed a nice bottle of Malbec and some tapas. The food was very good and it came out quick. We finished up with an espresso and a cappuccino. The bartender admitted up front that she is horrible at making cappuccinos, but it turned out to be one very good cappuccino. I tipped her close to 30% of the bill. If you are thinking about going to Lucien, think again. If you still end up going and you experience the same nonsense that I did, walk down the street to Guayoyo. You should probably just skip Lucien and go to Guayoyo anyway.
Paris on the LES – Last Thanksgiving Day when everything was closed, I had a nice trek of the LES with my sister when we happened upon this charming little place. They had a Thanksgiving Prix Fixe menu with Turkey but we opted for the grilled Octopus which was delectably soft and not rubbery, a great Steak Frites and a Clams with white wine sauce with Linguini - which we paired with a good red wine from Italy - Sacre Bleu! It's not a Bordeaux but the server was knowledgeable to recommend it and it was perfect. This felt like a locals only bistro in a cozy hidden street in Paris with the aged dark wood interior, candle votives, the bar full of easy laid back patrons, and for a moment you forgot that you are on Lower East Side. It may not be French Noveau but why change when you do the standbys quite well already. Too bad, I was with my sister but this could be a go to romantic dinner place. Lucien's will always remind me of a great Thanksgiving Day meal for quite some time.
French Kiss – I went to Lucien's for Lunch, after a few trips here, its not difficult to see that it pays to be a regular here. The food prices haven't changed in probably ten years... This is one of the cheapest espressos/cappuccinos in the city, Go to some fake euro corp, like the Soho Grand, pay six dollars for a cappuccino or 7 for toast. Here its under three.
Wines priced close to retail, a restaurant that actually Wants you to buy wine. Its awesome.
It gets me pretty excited. A bottle here is the same price as two glasses at a lot of places, AND the selection is broad and clearly Picked by someone Smart and French. Whenever I leave I always write down the wines they get so I can buy it later (for nearly the same price!)
The service was good, casual, but polite... fit the vibe.. IT is weird, it does feel like time travel to france... a lot of the people there were french actually.
They could work on the menus there, theyre kind of hard to read. They could have a few more vegetarian options, But their vegetarian plate is really impressive, it looks like a cooked vege tower, WIth eggplant.
My friend had the fish soup, it smelled like the beach and he had it to the LAST drop.
i think sometimes the food is a bit different day to day, but i think because they use REAL food, you know...?
Go there, but don't rush.
Never Disappoints – I've been going to this small French bistro for over 10 years and it has never let me down. The food is delicious, the staff friendly and efficient and the restaurant's somewhat cramped tables make it a perfectly friendly NY joint. Typically I get the same order - frisee salad and filet mignon - and have never been disappointed.
Sometimes there is a wait, but it's a good excuse to stand at the bar and get friendly.
Best French food for the $$$$ – Best French food in Manhattan for the money.Service is French in style so if your a hyper spoiled and neurotic New Yorker go home. ...Biker Billy
WORST SERVICE EVER – After waiting for a very long time - seeing the waitress friends CUT in front of us - NO EXCUSE, no free drinks, nothing for that. they kept telling us 2 minutes and we waited more than 30 minutes. When it is 10 PM that is really long and only on the account of BAD service.
We finally left without even eating - fed up.
Grendel – We recently had two meals there - the service was good but the food was somewhat inconsistent. My partner had Steak and Frites both times - while the first time it was great, the second time the steak was rather hard, uneven for medium-rare. The escargots were very mushy one time and the sea bass was passable. Seems the quality of food depends on your timing...
So-so. Moyen, pas plus. – If you're very hungry, this is not the place to go. The portions are tiny (especially the scallops) and the cassoulet tastes like it came straight from a can. And I like cassoulet! The ambiance is fine, but Lucien is just another bistro trying to be trendy while sacrificing the food. This is constructive criticism, by the way. I hope they get the hint.
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