Williamsburg, Greenpoint


French bistros in this town can feel like Disney World, referencing the idea of Paris and its informal cafés but failing to capture the city’s discreet charms. Williamsburg’s Juliette, however, resists the temptation to take French accents too far, instead offering a restaurant with just a touch of amelie whimsy. The large space comprises a bar area with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a banquette-lined back room, a glass-ceilinged indoor patio, and a large roof garden with its own bar. Throughout is a romantic mix of French country, deco, and Art Nouveau—warmly lit by antique light fixtures. The menu is equally classic, with an assortment of salads followed by favorites like moules and steak frites. The French onion soup is surprisingly sweet, with a stronger beef-bullion flavor than one might expect, but the Cambraix yellow-and-red-beet salad is beautifully dressed with a light vinaigrette and touch of horseradish cream. Steak dishes rely on their sauces (Bordelaise or peppercorn) but lack a beefy or char-grilled flavor on their own. The roast half-chicken—what some would argue is the litmus test of any bistro—is a winner, the skin crunchy and slightly caramelized, the meat tender and juicy. — Andrew Sessa

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