69 Gansevoort St., NYC
(Between Greenwich and Washington)
I am very rarely in the Meatpacking District. Really, at this point in my life, it seems like there is no reason for me to be down there…..too many clubs and waaaayyyy too trendy. And so it seems that they are finally taking out the last bit of cool that that area has to offer (I mean, yes, I do like The Spice Market and I love that the streets are cobble-stone). Florent, one of the least trendy restaurants in the area, serves up solid French Bistro food in a totally non-assuming diner atmosphere. The Hubs and I recently made it down there last weekend, and thank goodness we did……because they have been out-priced and are forced to close their doors forever in June! This is quite sad because everyone should try their French Onion Soup, which is just rich enough and baked to perfection. The homemade french fries dipped in the French Dijon mustard were delicious, and it looks like their Mussels and Fries combo was quite good. But really, if you want to know the truth, I am more upset it is closing because it was the only authentic place in this whole over-hyped area. Real people filled the seats and there was so little atmosphere in the whole place that it was filled with reality and felt like a genuine oasis of comfort in a very strange, convoluted land. Dramatic or not, I am disappointed that they raised the rents to the point where they are forced to close. Sometimes I get concerned that Manhattan is falling prey to conventionality and that the local hangouts are getting pushed out of the City. Luckily, I have realized that they all lurk in Queens, which is why I can rest my head easily in my borough. Goodbye, Florent, you were obviously way too real and genuine for your digs, but rest easy knowing that you satisfied customers for many years and that you go out in style.