6 at 68th St.-Hunter College; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.
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This venue is closed.
Even in Paris there are plenty of bistros that serve competent classics that fall short of memorable. La Goulue, which has been on the Upper East Side since 1973, is like one of these places—adequate but unexciting. Yet it has endured because it continues to fill a niche: competent food in a gracious and authentic French setting. The bistro fare goes beyond steak and moules frites but it doesn't tantalize. Coquilles St. Jacques, or scallops, are seared to a perfect brown crust on the outside and are sweet and tender inside, and they're served with a tomato confit tart. Grilled sardines are fresh and crispy, but lack in seasoning. Still, you can't beat the place for charm: outdoor wicker chairs, brown leather banquettes, and brass railings provide a respite for weary Madison Avenue shoppers, or those who enjoy watching the hustle-bustle tourist-shoppers barrel up the street while they sit back and suck down a glass of red wine or an ice cold vodka martini.Recommended Dishes
Steak au poivre, $39.50