F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.; J, Z at Bowery
Canal St. to Stanton St., Chrystie St. to Essex St.
This venue is closed.
The McNally-izing of New York continues apace with the Lower East Side French bistro, Casanis. The black-and-white-tile floors, the racks of wine bottles and magazines, the mellow lighting, and the outdoor tables are all conducive to the oh-so-French pastimes of smoking and lingering. Even the bar was custom-made in France. But this corner spot is no trend-hopper; it's a reprise of a beloved East First Street restaurant, also called Casanis, which closed in the nineties. Chef Sebastian Maczko cooked at the original space, and did a stint at Bouley. And since chefs don't usually get the chance to man the stove at the same place twice, he's making this one count. For the most part, he does justice to the classics. The namesake aperitif, a brand of pastis, is a must-have; the mussels, less so. But the prices are fair, and the portions are uniformly generous: Both the steak au poivre—a good ten-inch slab of beef smothered in whole peppercorns and accompanied by plump, chewy fries—and the tender, crispy-skinned roast duck leave you with enough for leftovers the next day. Which is about the only thing about Casanis that's not very French.Extra
Even the staff admits the restaurant's tap water can taste a little funny (apparently, the pipes act up every now and then). Bring your own, or order bottled.Recommended Dishes
Roasted duck breast, $18; steak au poivre, $29