Delta Airlines Magazine

April 2000


   Then there's Restaurant Florent, which, at 15 years old, deserves the title of pioneer trendsetter restaurant in this neighborhood. It just took a while for the trend to catch on. Restaurant Florent is a renovated 1940's diner, and what a beauty it is, with streamlined stainless-steel quilted backsplash, maroon Naugahyde banquettes, bent metal chairs, Formica tables, and a small hot pink neon sign in the window-and not a whit of glitz or "Happy Days" nostalgia about it. Above the counter is a friendly listing of show times in the area as well as weather updates, and the service staff couldn't be nicer with out losing their New York sense of timing.
    This is clearly one of the most consistently beloved eateries in the city: By 7 o'clock every night the place is jammed with regulars and newcomers, and it stays open till 5 a.m. (on weekends, the full 24 hours), so you can always drop in for a piece of pie or a well-made omelet with a side of bacon. But at dinner the more-or-less French bistro menu shines with absolutely wonderful renditions of potato gratine' with ham, all drenched in cream and melted cheese; a pot of tiny, sweet mussels in white wine sauce; a platter of garlicky sliced sausage, snowy goat's cheese and fatted rillettes; meaty pork chops with green beans and sweet potatoes; steak with perfect French fries; even unexpectedly fine fried chicken with Midas-rich mashed potatoes that seem half butter. Portions are huge and prices modest, and the carafes of wine as good as many of the bottlings on the wine list.