All Reader Reviews of...
201 W. 79th St., New York, NY, 10024
at Amsterdam Ave.
By colpo on 5/21/2003
From the evening's outset, a proper tone was set here. The male bartender was friendly and communicative with wine suggestions. The space itself is exceedingly handsome. All of the dishes ordered by the four of us, with no duplicates, were exceptional, including the sardines starter, the sea bass main, and the tarte tatin. There was a real "feel" for the provencal-style food here, not a french-by-the-numbers job a la "Bicyclette"/Columbus. Highly recommended.
Another interesting new westside place worth the trip
By Baratti on 5/22/2003
While hardly a "destination" restaurant, it is worth a special trip if you don't live in the neighborhood. Did not quite remind me of the French Riviera, but it was more comfortable European bistro than Upper westside. On the noisy side but conversation is still possible. Small but thoughtfully chosen wine list with interesting options from around the world. On the recommendation of an owner, we tried an incredible early 1990s Rioja. We started with a salad and pissaladiere. Enjoyed the salad, not outstanding but well balanced flavors. Pissaladiere was a sad interpretation of a pizza but had some interesting flavor combinations. My fiance had the steak and frites - which were better than average. Frites were crisp and disappeared before the steak. Highly recommend the salmon. Perfectly cooked, seasoned (not too salty like most places) and complemented with wonderfully grilled vegies. While it is an obvious menu item, Nice Matin manages to make it interesting without trying too hard.
not worth getting sick over
By froggy on 8/4/2003
When Nice Matin initially opened, I had a very good brunch. The french fries were especially delicious. However, the second time I visited, the quality deteriorated. I got food poisoning from the steak frites. When I sent back the steak, the chef said there was nothing wrong with it. However, it smelled like bad meat, tasted like bad meat, and gave me diarrhea for two days. It was about 100 degrees outside, but that is no excuse. It seems that the quality worsened once the restaurant extended operating hours. Fortunately, Marseille in hell's kitchen (same owners, but different chef) has kept its standards higher and remains consistent.
French on the West Side
By Parks on 8/10/2003
Nice Matin was quite pleasant. The service, however, was rushed. The crab cake was meaty but too many kids in the afternoon could be a problem for a couple who wanted a bit of romance. I prefer the Riveria but on the West Side this is a good substitute.
By baruch on 9/9/2003
crave an UWS french-like bistro, a la Cafe Luxembourg, but without its so-so food & stupidly hi wine prices for mediocre wines; a la AIX without its pretentious of the chef as well as stupid food & wine prices. thought Nice Matin "may" be the answer, but alas > terrible decor, stupidly hi wine prices for average wines (do all restaurants think its customers are that dim witted??), abrasive bartender, ill-trained service staff. unfortunately, the food is quite good, but due to the ambiance & environs, it becomes lost. also, owner(s) opening up "cute" little cookie cutter bistros as a chainlet, which is certainly not the warm & cuddly "mom & pop" bistros one has come to know & love. why can't anyone do this correctly????
Welcome French outpost on the West Side
By Jerry on 9/30/2003
We had a wonderful dinner at Nice/Matin. The bartender was very knowledgable, suggesting a wine while we waited for a table. Lots of activity at the bar. We were greeted by a friendly waiter when we sat down, who answered all our menu questions with aplomb. We both ordered fish dishes; codfish anchoiade and grilled salmon. We started with stuffed baby artichokes and fava bean tortelloni, both delicious. The cod and salmon were also wonderful. The salmon had a Morroccan glaze and tabouleh salad, while the cod was more Provencale, with ratatouille and aioli (flavored with capers and anchovy). Our dessert was a pear tart with vanilla ice cream. A lovely spot for foodies. A little loud, but charming.
Fabulous Food, Flaky Service
By jkl on 11/10/2003
The food at Nice Matin is very good and reasonably priced, both of my favorite enterees (the duck and leg of lamb) are under $20! The service however is inconsistent and leaves much to be desired. During our last visit, our waitor was spaced out and it took the three seating hosts over an hour to find us a table. The sommelier, luckily, is quite capable both in wine recommendations and in refilling bread and water.
Nice Matin is Nice
By Victoise on 2/13/2004
We live around the corner and when we first went, at night, it felt rushed and we weren't impressed. After 2 more visits(lunch this week), I think this place is very fine indeed, but moreso at lunch. It's tres belle in the day, like being in a sunlit painting and the food was fantastic...rich onion soup with bits of brisket, a superb duck salad on frisee with lardon & poached egg, every component first class & delicious (pricey at $18 but worth it). Kobe chopped meat was good but too rich for me. Our waitress was intelligent, charming & ran to write down the name of the super Sicilian rose I had. Stick with lunch if you want a relaxing excellent meal.
Delightful Surprises At A Reasonable Cost
By simulation on 3/28/2004
We arrived for dinner at 5:30 PM, when the restaurant opened. We had heard about long waits for a table. No problem at 5:30. For the price, Nice Matin is a delightful adventure. We liked the leek vinigrette and the pizza nicoise. The tortellini with fava beans was amazing (but only three tortellini. The veal was wonderful. Less successful were the Mussels (too much sand not rinsed out) and the duck (they recommended medium rare; upgrade to at least medium.) Service was fine. We have some special allergy concerns, and the staff was very informed and helpful. The Bananna cake dessert was just perfect to round out dinner. All this at $80, before tip. Even considering the dishes which weren't our favorite, this was a very positive experience.
Francophiles, your wishes are their commands!!
By jorgedaniel on 9/30/2004
Nice Matin is an incredibly acommodating restaurant; at least it was on a Wednesday evening after a jazz concert at Lincoln Center. My friends and I were treated graciously by a waiter I can best describe as one of the most competent and knowledgeable persons I have encountered in a dining establishment. Impressive wine list; although I could have done without having to see a $14,000, yes that's THOUSAND, 1865 Mouton from JFK's cellar on the list. Our waiter's recommendations were right on. Deliciously spicy merguez with a mustard aioli, sweet onions on a flaky pissaladiere started off the meal. My "speck", a less salty cousin of serrano ham, salad was light and tasty. My friend's ubiquitous, huge steak frite was tasty, if a tad over cooked. His wife's gnocchi, dense and filling with a lobster sauce that did not overwhelm, but then again didn't taste too much of lobster. The trifle for dessert was a very nice closure of chocolate, mocha and vanilla. The bill I found fair for the quality and service which we were given. All in all a great discovery and definitely a candidate for a repeat visit.
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