Sun-Thu, 11:30am-4:30pm and 5:30pm-midnight; Fri-Sat, 11:30pm-4:30pm and 5:30pm-1am
6 at Spring St.; N, R at Prince St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Canal St. to Houston St., Broadway to Varick St.
Bistro les Amis has all the outward trappings of a tourist restaurant transplanted from the Left Bank. It’s decorated with poorly cropped Brassai posters, and the soundtrack is a litany of tried-and-true Edith Piaf standards. Seating is a toss-up: Tables are too close together in the front room, yet an unseemly mural overpowers the more expansive back room. Sidewalk tables are more pleasant, especially during lunch when the time-worn interior isn’t masked by dim lighting. The moderate prices draw shoppers, tourists, and workers for quick-fix bistro fare: steak frites, coq au vin, and steamed mussels. There's really nothing wrong with the food—fries are hot and crunchy, the burger is nicely charred, and the salmon is crispy on the outside and attractively arranged on a bed of lentils. But the flavors lack zest, and the quality of the meat is not always top-notch. The menu ranges from the standard cheese-smothered onion soup and goat cheese salad to bizarre, slightly acidic ravioli stuffed with escargot. The more complex the dish, the less palatable. So keep it simple.Prix-Fixe Dinner
Three-course dinner, 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m., $25.95Recommended Dishes
Steak frites, $24.95; crispy salmon with lemon, $23.95