Outstanding mussels and other well-executed bistro standards are drawing crowds at Citron, which might just break the curse of its hard-luck location on Columbus Avenue. The mussels come in huge portions done three ways–mariniere (white wine and garlic), provencale (tomato, garlic, basil), or sauteed with Pernod and cream. All are tasty and fresh, and fries are first-rate, says DaniNYC77. Also good: frisee salad with lardons and duck confit (with mushroom gratin and raspberry sauce).

Citron, open since spring, is the younger sister to Cassis a few blocks south, which does a fine job with a nearly identical bistro menu. Hound favorites at Cassis include escargots, brie on toast with roasted pear, and tender hanger steak with bordelaise.

Bistro Citron [Upper West Side]
formerly Mex & Co.
473 Columbus Ave., between W. 82nd and 83rd Sts., Manhattan

Bistro Cassis [Upper West Side]
formerly Bruculino
225 Columbus Ave., at W. 70th St., Manhattan

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