14 First Ave., New York, NY, 10003
at 1st St.
By CaptainCook on 1/8/2013
Contrary to some recent reviews I read here, I'm a big fan of Lucien, and a recent dinner there on New Year's Eve reinforced my beliefs. The food and service was excellent. The only glitch was the late arrival of one dish (the duck), but the staff comped us a second bottle of very nice Cahors, to make good. The whole evening was seamless enjoyment, just what to expect.
By ChrisVz on 12/12/2012
This iconic French bistrot we all used to love, if not for its gastronomic audacity, surely for its authentic ambiance, has now vanished and turned into another mere cramped and commercial Manhattan restaurant tagged with a French clichÃ© logo. When a party of 8 Â« habituÃ©s Â», booked well in advance, has to wait almost one hour standing up ; when further investigation indicates that the reservation was not even on the guestlist ; when a bottle of Sancerre, proposed while standing without any mention to its price and therefore presumably on the house, finally happens to be on the check ; when legitimately complaining for the mess, clients are treated with a contemptuous smile and lots of arrogance by an almost underage hipster (a loud Â« I am the boss ! Â» being the funniest part)â€¦ THEN it is time to run away ! Obviously, the art of running a venerable restaurant, of taking care of clients and of perpetuating a unique ambiance is not a matter of blood heritage nor genetics. And the son of Lucien Bahaj will promptly ruin an institution that my friends and I will avoid from now on. That is the way it is in NYC, and we will promptly relocate our HQ.
By aluthra on 11/28/2010
POOR service, these people disgust me!!!! We waited 2 HOURS to be seated, when we were asked to wait only 15 minutes. And every time we checked back on seating status, we were told it would take another couple of minutes. Not only that, we were charged twice on our credit card, and when we called to rectify the mistake, we were told "we are not here to rob you. Call after two days when the accountant can help you." This was the response after our third call to them to request to reverse the dual transaction. There are enough nice restaurants in New York where you can pay $200 and get better service, and be treated nice. What good is the food, if it leaves this bad a taste in your mouth.
By silvny on 7/10/2009
The athmosphere is great and unpretentious, the food is just fantastic. Every time I go I try something new and it is always outrageous. It is not a fancy resaurant and I guess thats why it is so cute and charming. Service is friendly. My only complain: even though you make a rez you always have to wait, and the space is really tight (even for the city standards)
By Photomat2000 on 11/25/2008
After 2 years of living around the corner, my wife and I finally strolled into Lucien on a bustling Thursday night without a reservation. We were instantly greeted by a familiar face - the always energetic maitre'dess from one of my old favorite haunts, 26 Seats. The 20 minute wait at the bar was tight, but nothing awful, nor unexpected. Once seated, service was terrific. Food came out in a very French manner (slowly), but not rudely so. We shared the arugula salad with shaved parmesan and a bottle of Chinon (a nice, affordable red). For mains, my wife had the scallops which were buttery and delicious and I had the duck. The duck was cooked perfectly though if I had my wish, I'd leave a little more fat on the sliced breast. The leg, however, was done perfectly. After 2 years of walking buy without stopping in, we're going again this weekend. Making up for lost time, I guess.
By jlnyc on 6/9/2008
We showed up without a reservation on a crowded Friday night. The hostess was fabulous. She found us a seat at the bar and then moved us to a table mid-meal. Place is a bit of a zoo, but it is so friendly, I can't believe the other reviewers - and we are not the target audience here. Over 50. Food was fine. Not over the top great, but very good.
By Samir on 7/28/2007
The service is shoddy and the waitress is rude, we were never treated respectfully and I couldn't wait to get out. We went there on a Saturday night and the place was empty and the waitress had a chip on her shoulder. She should be fired if they want more people to come their establishment.
By newyorker on 3/31/2005
The food is mediocre and the service is horrible. Not that being rude is justified anywhere, but puhleeese, these people think that they work at Balthazar and have a license to treat you with total disrespect. Not a recommended dining experience.
By zeecee on 12/23/2004
The menu is vast enough so you can return without having to repeat and it's priced fairly so you can return without breaking the bank. For steak/frites, typical bistro dishes it's a great choice. Can be a bit jammed in but the clientele in this East Village feel of France bistro is pleasant and you don't mind being a bit cramped. Fries are great. Service is friendly.
By CityPixie on 3/20/2003
You know you're in a real bistro when you order a Lillet neat and the waiter asks you, "Blanc or Rouge?" They ask at Lucien, they don't ask at most other popular bistro-themed spots you visit downtown. Lucien also serves some mean steak frites. Great for late night dinners with a big crowd.