originally we were trying for the SPICE GRILL(formerly TIFFIN) on murray street but it was closed. so after an hour of bargain shoe shopping next door at 'generation'--thank goodness the new 'w' on chambers was closed-- my spouse and i somehow ended up over at CAPSOUTO FRERES.
if you want a civilized lunch with a full french menu while you are stuck in a sea of bland lower manhattan egg/brunch ripoffs on sunday do give this fine restaurant your business. it's not cheap, our total with tip was $75, but they have actually lowered their prices post 9/11.
service was very efficent and kind. we were poured ice water immediately after we were seated. a nice gesture given the 90+ degree day that certainly won us over from the start. i also had a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice that really hit the spot.
we both started with soups. my wife's cool cucumber/yogurt/dill was the winner, but i liked my tomato-based seafood soup as well. she had a gravlax platter for her main course and i had an egg white/smoked salmon/leek omlet. both came with practically an entire greens salad in itself on the plate as a side. we had a glass of bordeaux blanc and pinot blanc that went very nicely with our mains.
the coup de grace was coffee and expresso with the hazelnut souffle for dessert. wow! the hazelnuts inside the souffle made it even more than the hazelnut sauce. it had been so long i had forgotten that this restaurant was well known for their souffles. what a nice taste to leave with that was!
we walked home comfortable and not overly full. don't forget about this one when you head downtown, it's a classic well deserving of your continued support.