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« Drinks & app's at Rosa Mexicano, 12/10/07 | Main | Brunch at The Smith, 12/01/07 »

Dinner at La Bonne Soupe, 12/05/07

As if it's not hard enough to make dinner plans with busy friends in New York City, how do you decide on where to go once you've got your plans confirmed? Where's a centralized location that's close to both of your offices? What cuisines do you mutually like? Once you've narrowed down a couple of restaurants, how do you go about making your final decision? Wow, those are enough questions to make you dizzy, right? Before you reach for that Bonine pill, get on chowhound.com and if you've not yet done so, create a free account for yourself and make your life easier!
chowhound.com never lets me down when I need last minute restaurant recommendations from fellow foodies. There are a handful of spots that the 'hounds speak highly of, and if I've not been to them myself, I add those restaurants to my "I really wanna try this place list." One establishment in particular, La Bonne Soupe
, sounded especially appetizing when I was trying to figure out where to meet a friend for dinner last night. Once I saw those snowflakes falling, I knew that nothing would quite warm me up like a hot bowl of soup.

Elissa and I decided to meet at La Bonne Soupe
at 6:15 p.m. I arrived fifteen minutes early and decided to enter the restaurant and attempt to be seated. Normally, most places are huge sticklers and won't seat "incomplete parties," but given the weather conditions, there was no way I was going to wait for my friend in the snow.
As I entered the restaurant, I immediately began to defrost. I walked towards the bar, figuring I'd get a drink while I was waiting. The bar tender asked how many guests I would be dining with, and...Get this...offered to seat me even though my party was incomplete! Bonus points for that.

The dining room was long and narrow, and from where I was standing, there appeared to be more seating upstairs. The atmosphere was warm, lively and intimate. From the hardwood floors to the shabby-chic French country decor, I knew that La Bonne Soupe
would not disappoint. At 6:00 p.m., the restaurant was almost completely full.

As soon as I was seated, I was handed both a food and cocktail menu. A glass of wine sounded nice, but instead, I opted for the most amazing mango concoction. Mango sorbet, ice, homemade sweet and sour mix and Rose's Lime Grenadine were blended together, shaken, then poured in to a tall glass and served with a straw. What a delicious treat this was!

Finally, I saw Elissa come through the door and she joined me at the table. A basket of fresh French bread and butter arrived, as did another food menu. La Bonne Soupe doesn't just carry soups; they've got quite an extensive menu including appetizers, salads, crepes, omelettes, and a variety of main courses. I couldn't help but notice the refreshingly affordable prices and prix-fixed menu (perfect for the uber hungry).
After perusing the menu, our waiter came by to take our order. Elissa chose the spinach quiche and I went with a bowl of the French onion soup. Not three minutes after we'd placed our order, our food arrived! Elissa and I both looked at each other and laughed out loud.

My French onion soup was picture perfect and exactly what I'd been craving. The broth was rich, buttery and chock-full of silky onions and there was just the right ratio of cheese to bread. Had the broth been less watered down, this would have been my vote for the city's best bowl of French onion.

Elissa seemed equally as happy. Her ample slice of savory spinach goodness tasted as lovely as it looked. The quiche's crust was golden, buttery and crispy giving way to the custardy interior laced with finely chopped spinach. Tres chic!
Unfortunately, our check didn't arrive as fast as our meal. By the time we received our bill, the line of people waiting to get a table at La Bonne Soupe was out the door! And rightfully so, as this delightful little jewel dishes out affordable and delicious food. Thanks again for yet another wonderful restaurant rec, fellow 'hounders!

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