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Balthazar French Bistro - New York, United States

A Place Worth Skipping

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Restaurant Category : French

Balthazar - New York: Located at 80 Spring Street, between Broadway and Crosby is the over-sized French bistro Balthazar. With seating for over 200 diners, the restaurant is as you expect, is not the place for a quiet, relaxing lunch or dinner.

We stopped in around 1:30 in the afternoon only to be told there was a 45-minute wait. We had heard good things about the restaurant and really wanted to try it so we left our name and went for a walk. We came back around 2:00 PM and after a short wait, we were seated at a cramped two-top.

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The d├ęcor of Balthazar was very reminiscent of a true French bistro but it seemed to be have been super-sized making it loud, crowded and just to busy for me to enjoy.

The menu ranges from soups, sandwiches and salads to pastas, pork chops and seafood. The wine list was large but over-priced for the setting and atmosphere. On the waiter's recommendation, I went with the Beef Stroganoff and a craft of the house wine.

The Stroganoff was tasty but too greasy. The portion side was small but with as greasy as it was, that was fine. If there had been much more I doubt I would have finished it. The wine, well, the wine was a nice house wine. It went fine with the lunch but again, it was not even worth remembering its name.

Between all the hustle and bustle of the diners and wait staff one thing that did catch my eye was the Le Balthazar, a huge seafood platter. By huge, it was easily over a foot tall. It had oysters, shrimp, crab, mussels, lobster and clam. It was beautiful.

Thinking back to Balthazar I ask myself, would I go back and the answer is a strong no. The only thing that I think would make me go back would be with a group of friends to attack Le Balthazar, other than that, New York is packed with too many other great places.

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