06 June 2008

Lost City Asks "Who Goes to Chez Napoleon?"

My latest "Who Goes There?" feature for Eater.com takes me to Chez Napoleon, a little French restaurant on W. 50th that has chugged along quietly since 1960. I had actually been planning to visit Costa del Sol next door, but found it closed. I was kinda sad, but also know that the meal I had at Chez Napoleon was probably much better than anything I would have gotten at Costa del Sol. And the French place trumps the Spanish in the charm department without a doubt.

Chez Napoleon's world used to be much different. When it opened its doors, Madison Square Garden was right across the street! This is where its main trade came from. Must have been pretty brisk.

Above is the bizarre "family portrait" that depicts the three members of the Bruno family that run the joints. Apparently, Ingres came back from the dead to paint it.


Anonymous said...

I eat there all the time, but I live in the same 'hood.

Anonymous said...

The bouillabaise is great and the kindly waitress will do the whole bread, rouille, soup mixing for you at the table. GREAT time warp eating.

Anonymous said...

Brooks, I'm SO sorry you missed Costa del Sol. The bar was so un-hip, that we could talk office gossip all night and never be overheard by anyone in publishing. The dining room was always filled with a pre-theater old-timers crowd, but my friends and I went for the GREAT sangria, delicious Tortilla EspaƱa and friendly barkeep Alfonso, who we hope landed on his feet somewhere nice.

Their Taverna has the same fantastic tortilla, but a surprisingly bland sangria.