Mon-Wed, 8am-1am; Thu, 8am-2am; Fri, 8am-2:3am; Sat, 9am-3am; Sun, 9am-1am
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Houston St. to 23rd St., Sixth Ave. to West Side Hwy.
Meatpacking pioneer Keith McNally went to great pains to reproduce a 1930s Parisian brasserie for his highly anticipated Balthazar follow-up in 1999 by scouring overseas flea markets for the distressed mirrors, light globes, brass railings, and, mais bien sur, the newspaper rack. Contrary to the master's low-key intentions, the front café of this airy, cheerily lit restaurant still gets so crowded with walk-ins and latecomers that a velvet rope confines them to the pewter bar, where if they have nothing to add to the deafening buzz of conversation, they can admire cigarettes stacked into compartmental shelves. Those huddled over the two-tops nearby may find themselves wedged in between, on one side, a couple of fannypackers dreamily pouring a creamy béarnaise sauce over the passable steak frites and, on the other, an artist gossiping with his dealer as he peels off leaves of artichoke and she dips into the daily special of head-on sautéed prawns. Although the back dining room is a slightly less frenzied place, the long communal table (bookable for special events) says it all: Whether you're here for dinner or a bustling brunch of oysters and cocktails, you better think heaven is other people.Plan Ahead
Pastis doesn't take reservations for its coveted outdoor seats, but you'll be seated faster (usually within twenty or thirty minutes) if you have a dinner reservation; without one, it's almost impossible. After midnight there's an abbreviated supper menu.Recommended Dishes
Seared tuna Nicoise, $22; moules frites au Pernod, $22