"The emphasis here is on comfort food... the type of things I cook for myself at home," says chef-owner Thierry Blouet, who also owns the elegant French restaurant Café des Artistes. Prime rib (the beef is from Texas) and short ribs are the specialties, outshining the rib eye, New York cut, and other carnivorous entrées. Side dishes include lightly dressed salads, the not-to-be-missed green beans or asparagus (whichever looks best at the market), parboiled and grilled
to perfection, then doctored with kosher salt and finely chopped nuts. Appetizers include the delicious octopus served on steamed sliced potatoes drizzled with olive oil and dusted with herbs and ground chile piquín. Despite the scale and minimalist decor—walls are painted matte black, low-wattage bulbs dangle from high ceilings, and the walls are nearly devoid of artwork—the space feels comfortable and warm. It's not just for tourists. Mavens with kids take a break from shopping expeditions while businessmen talk turkey in oversize, pick leatherette booths. If parents want to linger over decaf and guava-mango mousse, their kids can paint on a giant cow sculpture or watch videos in the supervised basement playroom.