Mon-Fri, noon-11pm; Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm
6 at 51st St.; E, M at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
On a strip of Second Avenue overrun by forgetable bars and nondescript restaurants, La Mangeoire offers a surprisingly cheerful patch of Provence. The decorative accent is rustic: gleaming copper pans, ceramic pitchers, and garlic braids embellish the walls, along with agricultural implements, such as a bridle-and-mouthpiece unit for a horse or cow. Enormous floral arrangements and still-life paintings splash color across the restaurant, while a handsome, potbelly stove sits in the main room (it's used to store linens). The menu is equally traditional, with hardly a nod to nouvelle, let alone fusion-oriented French cooking. Classic appetizers run the gamut from a classic, French onion soup topped with two cheeses to "country style" pâté and escargots served with almond butter. Standout entrées include the diver sea scallops prepared with a sweet pea puree and Cornish hen grilled with herbs. And if you're dining with company, share the whole roasted chicken; served in its own juices with fries, the preparation is simple but outstanding. The restaurant's three small dining rooms lend intimacy to the somewhat older crowd, and the option of ordering scaled-down portions of entrées lets customers linger over the fine desserts.Extra
At lunchtime on Saturdays, the restaurant is reserved for private parties. At other times groups of 10-25 can inhabit one of the restaurant's three dining rooms.
Two-course lunch, $21; three-course dinner, $35
Sea scallops a la plancha, $26 for small plate and $35 for large plate