Restaurants & Bars

if you're ever on the upper east side . . .

wonki | Mar 26, 199910:11 AM     11

. . . or happen to live there, like i do, then you
must go to la foret on 1st ave. b/w 88 and 89. great
down to earth little french bistro with great food,
reasonable prices, good service, and a quaint

the place is small, but cozy. i would recommend going
on a weeknight as opposed to the weekend when it gets
packed and they don't take reservations.

the wine list had some really good bottles for very
reasonable prices, all french. we went with the fleur
du casse from st. emilion, which at $34 i believe was
the most expensive on the list. good wine, ready to
drink, wet and fruity with a slightly bitter finish.

la foret has daily specials which they list both
outside and on the menu. the menu itself is rather
small, but with the specials there's plenty to choose
from. i had the haricots verts salad with pistachios
and pistachio dressing. if you love pistachios and
pistachio ice cream like i do, then you'll love this
salad. very fresh and very original. my girlfriend
had the arugala salad with oranges and walnuts. good
enough, though the walnuts were mysteriously absent.

for entrees, my girlfriend had the beef stew, which she
said was very good, and it must have been, since she
finished the whole thing. i had the maine red grouper
on the recommendation of the waiter. excellent
presentation, with three stripes of different sauces,
kind of like neopolitan ice cream, underneath the fish:
tomato, sweet olive, and vegetable, with chopped
vegetable medley underneath. the fish was excellent.
tender on the inside, slightly crispy out. great
color, great flavor. i chose to mix the sauces
together with the vegetables. the resultant creation
was outstanding and certainly added to the fish. even
after i was full, i couldn't stop eating until i had
finished everything, and believe me, the portion was
more than ample. dessert was the only mediocre part of
the meal. i had the pistachio ice cream, which was a
little thick as far as consistency, kind of like the
vanilla bean kulfi at tabla (which by the way is out of
this world), but not nearly as good. my girlfriend got
the blood orange sorbet, which was a little too icy, it
was more like a granita, but a good palate cleanser and
nice finish to the meal. service was great,
unobtrusive but getting the job done.

but i think the part i liked best was at the end of the
night, when the staff came out of the kitchen and ate
their dinner in the dining room.

so if you want a good French meal at an unpretentious
place, check out la foret. it's a great escape.

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