Our good friends Buddy and Elaine recently introduced us to Capsouto Freres, a really special French bistro located in Manhattan only a couple of blocks from the Holland Tunnel on Washington Street. We learned from Buddy and Elaine that former Mayor Ed Koch frequently has Sunday brunch here with a bunch of his friends.
Everything about Capsouto Freres is top notch from their extensive wine list to the especially nice ambiance - the tables are far enough apart and the decor sufficiently subdued that you can actually hear everyone at your table talking.
For six of us the total bill came to just over $300 including a bottle of an excellent white wine, appetizers, entrees and the best souffles you can possibly imagine. They also offered a three course Prix-Fixe choice for $39 which would have worked quite well. Some of the exceptional appetizers we shared included Crispy Vegetable Crepes, Salmon Gravlax and Orange Caramelized Fennel. Main courses included Roasted Duck, Mahi-Mahi, Filet Mignon and Filet of Sole. Portions were ample and all included a medley of freshly cooked vegetables. We all finished our experience with various coffee types or teas.
Capsouto Freres is acclaimed for its souffles which include a variety of savory choices such as Herb and Cheese, Spinach and Cheese and Smoked Salmon. The sweet varieties the night we were there include Raspberry, Chocolate and Praline. At other times featured souffles include tangerine, apricot, meyer lemon, orange and fig. It's no wonder that Capsouto Freres is known as the "souffle sanctuary." We paid attention to the tables around us and noted that, without exception, everyone finished their meal with a souffle. A savory souffle and a side salad would make a great lunch.
This is a destination restaurant, not one you will come across roaming the streets of Manhattan. One good thing about the location is that there is apparently always street parking nearby and usually available.
This one comes with our highest recommendation. Everything about the dining experience including the service was top notch. We will be going back, maybe for a Sunday brunch the next time. Check out their web site at www.capsoutofreres.com. Call for reservations 212-966-4900.
451 Washington Street
New York, NY