by Julie Besonen, 07/03/2013
Photo: Adrian Gault
380 Lafayette St., 212-533-3000, NoHo, Manhattan
Your love affair with Balthazar is still going strong but that irrepressible wandering eye might still pilot you to a night at Lafayette. Pourquoi pas? The dining room is soaring, the aura has frisson, the food is stimulating and the players are worth getting to know. NYC golden boy Andrew Carmellini and partners Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard are behind some of the hottest restaurants in town (Locanda Verde, The Dutch). During the day Lafayette makes no demands and is always there for you, be it a business breakfast, a takeaway almond croissant, an easygoing lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up of Stumptown espresso. At night it's more heated. Call ahead to avoid rejection. For hors d'oeuvres we recommend bracing oysters, seafood salad and beef tartare with poached marrow. Then move on to spaghetti Niçoise, rotisserie chicken and duck au poivre. Pick up some goodies from the patisserie on your way out for the morning after.