No. of Recommendations: 1
For a more expensive place, I'd suggest La Cote Basque, 60 W. 55th St.,
212-688-6525. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary there last spring, and found the food excellent, decor charming, staff relaxed and unpretentious yet attentive.

My 2 favorite middle-roaders are down in the Village. (Actually, practically all of my favorite places are, as that's where I live!) There's Chez Michallet, 90 Bedford St. (at the corner of Grove, which is also the building exterior where most of the action on 'Friends' takes place), 212-242-8309. It's French, but a more contemporary menu, fresh fresh ingredients, wonderful flavors, a cozy relaxed place. There's Blue Ribbon Bakery at Bedford and Downing Sts. No point giving the phone as they don't take reservations. Very eclectic, inspired menu. Delicious. About the best bread--baked there--you'll find anywhere. (And it's for sale, too.) Wonderful wine and beer list. Upstairs/downstairs--2 very different environments. Very competent and friendly service. Very unique--also no reservations--is Cookies & Cous Cous at 230 Thompson St. between W. 3rd and Bleecker Sts., a small hideaway owned/cheffed(?) by a Berber--Moha Orchid--with great instincts and excellent training (partly in France)/experience. A few classic Moroccan dishes, with the focus on creative use of fresh local ingredients with Moroccan seasonings. Moha loves to chat with his guests, and he's a bright and charming guy. He also makes his own ice creams and sorbets (superb), and is a highly accomplished pastry chef (French and Viennese). One further delicious and charming, cozy French place, that does take reservations, is La Metairie at the corner of W. 10th and W. 4th Sts, 212-989-0505.

Enjoy your stay.

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