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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Posted by WestVillageGal on 12/08/2011
This is one of those restaurants that falls under the category of an experience rather than just a meal. Imagine what a French restaurant may have been like back in 1950, then don't change a thing, not even the menu. Decor is blah and plain but somehow charming, service can be dreadful but geez the one waitress is doing the whole place by herself so what do you expect? Food is all those solid old French favorites that are not going to get any foodies or food critics excited but that actually taste pretty darn good. Everything I saw other diners having looked really good as well. Prices, with a few exceptions, are for the most part very reasonable. So, if you like my description, go -- but don't expect it to be something it's not -- it's an odd little place and you will either enjoy it or you will be absolutely livid that it was not like Pastis or Le Benardin or whatever your idea of a French restaurant is.
Posted by Jack Forrester on 05/31/2011
Lovely place, very authentic atmosphere. The kind of genuine, family-owned restaurant that is becoming all too rare these days, and the city is worst for it. I recommend the steak (rare) or the skate. The summer fried potatoes that come on the side are to die for! Superbly seasoned and the closest to real, French fried potatoes I've ever had outside of France. If it isn't too packed try talking to the hostess Melva, shes a very cultured and charming woman.
Posted by J.Scott on 02/04/2011
La Lunchonette is definitely not for pretentious types, nor for tourists. The food is very simple on the plate, but in your mouth is dazzlingly rich and complex. Nothing fancy, just perfectly cooked everyday meals. Their scalloped potatoes the best I've ever tasted, reason alone to keep going back. The way they do sweetbreads: divine. Service was excellent, laid-back and prompt at the same time. Super strong coffee. A calm and quiet ambience.
Posted by Claire on 11/06/2010
I stopped at la Lunchonette completely by chance on my way back from the high line. The food was truly superb, and the atmosphere perfect. We were seated on the table in the very back corner against the main wall... was so cosy and intimate. I had the trout while my friend had the Beef Bourgignon, both excellent (trout was served with a magnificent gratin dauphinois on the side). For dessert we both took the Tarte Tatin. It felt like being at my mom's (french) table. My only complaint is the service: we were rushed to choose our meal, and after dessert when the waitress brought the check (that we hadn't asked for), she was visibly annoyed when I asked for a coffee. Then it has to be said that the food is somewhat pricey... but well. I still think I will go back because after 2 years of living in NYC, this is the closest I came to home food.
Posted by Bryan on 06/18/2009
The food was good, but the service was poor. Used to be such a great place, but now it seems that they don't hire quality anymore. The owner was very rude to us anytime we asked a question.
Posted by sue on 02/12/2009
went there after the long lines at grand szetzuan discouraged us. we'd been there before, but while it cost 2x as much as the grand one it was 1/2 as good. the chicken tasted as if it had been boiled or poached and not roasted, with just the mustard sauce ladled on top. the cassoulet was bland, one piece of duck"confit" that was dry and a small thin slice of some kind of sausage along with white beans which were virtually tasteless. won't go back. we could have gone to the thai place next door to grand szetzuan, but there were too many empty tables, so we hiked over to la luncheonette. i think the thai place would have been ok. sorry to be so negative, but we expected more.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/12/2008
Don't know what the other reviewer is thinking? Have been here many times - this is a true neighborhood restaurant - great value - get the skate, get the cassoulet, the leek and lentil salad, the beef bourg. Great comfort food.