Restaurant of the Month: Chez Napoleon

The storefront sign of French bistro Chez Napoleon hanging from the brick building in front of green leaves and trees in the sunshine.
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When you think of where to find a “hidden gem” with “authentic French cuisine,” the theater district wouldn’t be your first guess, right? Well, after discovering Chez Napoleon on 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, we were welcomed by the Bruno family – who is the third, yet longest, family to own Chez Napoléon – and served a perfectly crafted menu that showcases France’s most delectable culinary delights.

With the perfect location in the Theater District without the hustle and bustle of chain restaurants, Chez Napoleon is ideal for a pre or post-theater dinner. What’s the secret behind this tiny French spot’s success? While it may not be flashy, the combination of being family run, fresh and authentic French food (yes, like the kind you actually find in France), and their secret sauce will keep you coming back to taste Chef “Grandmere” Marguerite Bruno’s dishes. Here’s what we love about Chez Napoleon: August’s Restaurant of the Month.

A fresh and hot serving of bubbling green escargot in the shell.
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Stop by for Lunch

From fresh greens with homemade dressing to a cup of authentic onion soup, Chez Napoleon’s lunch options will make you come back again and again to try new dishes. If you’re looking for a light lunch, you can never go wrong with Salade de Mesclun, a medley of nine different lettuces topped with house vinaigrette.  If you’re a cheese lover, try the Croque Monsieur, which is a French-style grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Sounds fancy, right?! The lunch menu is served Monday-Friday from noon to 2 pm.

A large pot of French beef bourguignon with carrots, onions, and beef cooking.
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The Dinner Menu

A few favorite items on the dinner menu are classic dishes you’d find at any cafe in Paris, such as Beef Bourguignon, which is classic beef stew with carrots, pearl onions, and fresh mushrooms. In the mood for seafood? Try the Coquille St. Jacques with sea scallops in a cream sauce, topped with melted cheese. For an authentic deal of it’s own, consider the Prix-Fixe Menu. For $34 you can create your own three-course meal from the following options:

Appetizers- your choice of Salade de Mesclun or Soupe du Jour

Entree- selected specials of the day

Dessert- your choice of Mousse au Chocolat or Creme Caramel, served with a cup of coffee

An interior view of the French bistro Chez Napoleon in New York City with linen tables, dim lights, and bright sunshine coming through windows.
Photo Credit: Chez Napoleon

The Real Hidden Gem

Our favorite touch to this restaurant? Grandmere Marguerite’s secret sauce, Chez Napoleon House Vinaigrette, which tastes NOTHING like any dressing we’ve ever eaten before! If you can’t get enough of the sauce during you visit, buy a bottle to bring home with you! It adds delicate flavor to crusty baguettes, a crisp salad as a dressing, and as a dip for vegetables.

While Chez Napoleon is a bit hidden, it does have a regular following, so be sure to make a reservation so you can snag yourself one of their coveted tables. Lunch is served Monday-Friday from noon to 2 pm, and dinner seating begins at 5:00 pm… Right in time before a show!

Report back to us on Twitter and Facebook about how much you love their secret sauce! Bon appetit!

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