7744471.0.jpg

La Goulue Christian Delouvrier

The accouterments of a classic brasserie setting are in place: tin ceiling, mosaic-tile floor, wood, mirrors, tightly packed tables topped with white butcher paper, and open French doors leading to a breezy outside patio. The menu mimics that of a real bistro, too, although one with severely limited range. Diners are privy to the standard escargots, onion soup, steamed mussels, steak/frites, and duck à l'orange -- but little else. And the sparse selections are timid in scope. Where is the confit, cassoulet, coq au vin? Ambitiouslessness aside, what La Goulue does, it does decently enough. Two small triangles of tarte à l'oignon satisfy with brittle-thin pizza crust crowned by a rich mix of minced onions, bacon, and Gruyère cheese, and parmentier soup achieves a heartwarming harmony between its two main components, potato and leek. For salad, you can't beat peppery frisée leaves laced with lardons of bacon and a runny poached egg. Steak/frites comes two ways: grilled New York strip (no bargain at $35) and the more traditional bistro cut, the hanger (onglet), its full-bodied taste elevated further by a perfect béarnaise sauce tangy with tarragon. Freshly made, assertively salted frites are also good, and so are desserts such as brilliantly flavored homemade ice creams and sorbets, a luscious lemon tartlet, and sumptuously soft arabica coffee pot de crème.

Map