80 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 965-1414

Balthazar is a bustling bistro in SoHo owned by famed restaurateur Keith McNally.  This vibrant and lovely spot serves French fare and an extensive raw seafood menu in a space where one is equally likely to see a tourist taking a break from a SoHo shopping spree as a face recognizable from the faces of a fashion or entertainment magazine.

Balthazar’s ubiquitous mirrors, vibrant yellow walls, rich woods, and zinc bar make the space a welcome respite from the thriving SoHo streets, and the perfect place to share everything from a romantic meal to a chatty brunch with girlfriends.  We visited a recent weekday morning for breakfast on a rainy Manhattan morning.  As usual, the space was brimming with patrons who were ushered to seats at tables pressed so closely together that hosts actually have to pull tables out in order for guests to reach their seats.

We started our meal with Le Panier, a basket of fresh pastries and breads from Balthazar Bakery. With everything from flaky croissants to sinfully delicious chocolate bread slices, this is definitely a tasty way to peruse the menu.

From our pastry palooza, we moved on to brunch entrees. First up were the Eggs Norwegian. This dish featured unbelievably beautiful poached egss resting atop smoked salmon. The dish was finished with a creamy hollandaise sauce and atop a toasted English muffin. The plate was completed with rustic, flavorful home fries.

We also sampled a fluffy omelette enveloping zesty fresh herbs and a generous smattering of formidable shredded Gruyere. The dish was simple but flavorful and expertly cooked.

We finished our meal with the delicious Eggs Benedict. This dish featured the same perfect, fluffy poached eggs as the Eggs Norwegian, but with savory Canadian bacon and hollandaise atop an English muffin.

Balthazar is vibrant, beautiful, and a perfect place to chat and people watch. Whether for brunch, cocktails, or dinner, Balthazar’s staying power and swagger come from not only its bustling crowds or its beautiful appointments but also from the delicious craftsmanship of its kitchen. Balthazar is definitely worth a visit next time you visit Manhattan, whether for a romantic dinner or for a respite from the SoHo streets. For a special treat, order the Plateaux De Fruits De Mer–a towering sampling of Balthazar’s raw bar offerings that is delicious, decadent, and perfect for sharing.

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