French Fare After the Festival

French Fare After the Festival

As a New York City writer, I have a pretty cool job. However, my boyfriend’s occupation is even more interesting. He is a filmmaker and a movie he worked on last summer, Almost Paris, made its grand debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in late April.

After the screening, we enjoyed lively conversation and cocktails at the after party in The New York EDITION—a fairly new hotel located down the street from Madison Square Park.

Passed hors d'oeuvres were served at the event, but we spent more time gabbing than chowing down on grub. By the time we made the rounds to say our goodbyes, our stomachs were starting to grumble. Although we knew we needed a food fix, we were at a loss as to where to enjoy a sit-down dinner at 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday night. It just so happened the hotel doorman overheard our conversation and suggested a trip to nearby L’express, a restaurant that’s open 24/7.

When we got to the eatery, which rests on the corner of Park Avenue South and E. 20th Street near Union Square, I instantly realized that I’ve walked by the restaurant a dozen times. I was always curious about the place and finally got a chance to check it out.

As you can probably tell by the name, L’express is a French bistro located in the heart of NYC’s downtown dining scene. Although we are well into the 21st century, I felt like I was transported back in time once I entered the space. The dimly lit dining room—with dark wood accents, an intricately designed ceiling and colorful illustrations hanging on the walls—looks exactly like the Parisian taverns depicted in paintings by late 19th-century painter Toulouse Lautrec.

The setting served as the perfect place to try a few selections from the menu. Although my tastes tend towards the simple side, I had been craving foie gras recently and was super excited to find the French delicacy on the menu, which was served with toast points and a not-too-sweet dollop of jam. It was pretty cold that night, so I also warmed up with a generous bowl of evergreen-hued spinach soup. My boyfriend enjoyed the roasted half chicken entrée and paired the fall-off-the-bone meat with a heaping helping of veggies. The food left us full but not overly stuffed, and I’m glad I have a new go-to spot for late-night eats in the area.

For more about L'express, click here.

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