C, E at 50th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
Formality and dining are rarely linked in today's jeans and T-shirt culture, but venerable René Pujol offers a well-heeled, over-45 clientele a chance to turn back the clock. Decorative plates and copper pots adorn linen-covered walls, giving the dining room an elegant feel, only circa 1979. Tuxedo-clad waiters punctuate a dated setting made somewhat more curious by the choice of music: Muzak-inspired pop tunes (Seal and Enya) evoking your last elevator ride. More successful is the well-rounded French menu: along with the familiar escargot and cassoulet, hearty roasted meats and fish fill out a long list of prix-fixe options. Presentation is ornate; sauces are decadent. A thick, creamy béarnaise matches the smoky notes of the grilled filet mignon, while a lighter pignolis and shallot sauce enlivens tender, roasted quail. Desserts tantalize: The flawlessly cooked warm, melting chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream may be good enough to justify pulling those slacks and dresses from the back of the closet.Extra
The prix-fixe seems like a good deal at first, but many of the most appealing entrées and even dessert costs extra, so the price really adds up, sometimes to double or even triple the original.Recommended Dishes
Fresh crab cake, $10; duck liver mousse, $9; roasted quails, $17; grilled filet mignon, $32