Manhattan – Lower East Side
176 Ludlow St between Houston and Stanton Sts
Manhattan, NY 10002
High ceilings, love letters scrawled on the walls (please hold me the forgotten way) and mood lighting all add to the romantic charm of this boho haunt. Lucien Bahaj, who also runs the nearby French bistro Lucien, covers the dependable-café-fare beat in these parts. Dishes--like a toasted honey, peanut butter and banana sandwich, or an herb-scattered salmon with parsley risotto and a rich red-wine sauce--are simple and satisfying, if not groundbreaking. The kitchen is open until 2am; put some Nina Simone on the juke and settle in.
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- Average main course: $16. Cash only