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75 Solid

The intimate setting — in a brownstone divided into a subterranean bar and a second-floor dining room and garden — is meant to conjure “a fantasy apartment in Paris or Rome.”

181 W. 10th St., New York, NY, 10014


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The lowdown

The basement entrance of this popular, clubby townhouse restaurant is conspicuously unmarked, and to get to the dining room, you must duck into a candlelit lounge area and climb up a rickety flight of stairs. The room is fitted with the kind of tastefully rummaged knickknacks (glass-bead chandeliers, old-master knockoffs, randomly stacked volumes by Escoffier and Alan Dershowitz) that you’d see in a fancy summer rental in the Hamptons. The kitchen has cycled through many chefs, and their menus tend to feature new preparations of classic French dishes (lamb shoulder en cocotte, filet de bœuf), as well as more familiar New American items. If you have a choice, eat upstairs, where there is a second, more elegant, pocket-size bar (where a small-plates menu is available alongside the house cocktails) and a stylish alfresco area, which is open during temperate weather

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized