Mon-Fri, noon-midnight; Sat, 11am-1am; Sun, 11am-11pm
F at Delancey St.
Like Diddy and Ghandi, to say nothing of Cher, Zucco, the owner of the eponymous Zucco: Le French Diner, goes by just one name, and with his cool demeanor and smooth French accent, he pulls it off. His restaurant is stylishly equipped with vintage French bric-a-brac and amenities like fine cloth napkins tucked into silver napkin holders and teensy wineglasses from Paris. Which is why it’s surprising to learn that Zucco took as his business model the typical French truck stop. “If one day you are driving along the Routes Nationale,” he says, “and you pass a restaurant with a lot of trucks parked outside, you can go in knowing that the food will be good and cheap.” Zucco’s menu started with tasty French sandwiches served on crusty baguettes, salads, and a few main courses like a toothsome steak haché that could be cooked in an electric kitchen. Now that Con Ed and the State Liquor Authority—the restaurant-world equivalents of the cable guy—have come through with the goods, Zucco’s menu encompasses French truck-stop favorites like cassoulet, moules marinières, and grilled tuna à la Provençale, as well as an all-French wine list.