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Permanently Closed - Le Philosophe

4.2
390 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Romantic

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Classic French farm to table bistro located on charming cobbled stoned Bond street, we offer the best of old school french fares with a modern twist.

We cater a great variety of exquisite French wines for our wine enthusiasts.

A la prochaine!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:30am - 3:30pm;

Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm,

Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 12:00am
Monday's Closed
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Phone number
(212) 388-0038
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Matthew Aita
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Private party facilities
Our private dining room located into our wine cellar features one unique chef table that can seat up to 18 persons. Prix fixe dining options available upon request.
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Private party contact
Gilles - Manager: (212) 388-0038
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Lafayette and Bowery
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Public transit
Bleecker St (6)
Broadway - Lafayette St (B, D, F, M)
2 Av (F)
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.1

What makes Le Philosophe so ultimately Perfect For a date actually has relatively little to do with the fact that they serve French food. It’s more the spirit of this place in general that makes it the ideal destination for convincing a girl that you have interests outside of football and XBox Live.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 390 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on January 9, 2016

It was a dinner for my boyfriend's mother... They worked hard to make it a great dining experience. Plus the food was amazing.

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1.0Dined on January 5, 2016

So there's a great menu on the wall of everything that you would want to eat - Roast Chicken, Steak Frites, etc. Except none of it is available. Not only is that stupid, it's disappointing. TO be 100% fair, the food we ordered was good, but it wasn't what we wanted to eat.

Why can't a restaurant have roast chicken? It's easy and someone in every party wants it.

I'll be back when there is a more widely pleasing menu, or they paint over the walls.

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4.0Dined on December 11, 2015

Excellent food and service. We'll go again when in that part of the city.

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2.0Dined on December 4, 2015

We are very happy to finally be able to drive his highly touted restaurant. Unfortunately it does not live up to its reputation.Tthe bartender had trouble making a perfect Manhattan and after two tries we called it quits
The roasted Bone Marrow was excellent but the Frog Legs / hen of the woods, sunchoke, watercress, garlic was very disappointing. You could not tell that you were eating frogs legs or anything else.
Blanquette de Veau was overcooked and somewhat tasteless.Lobster Thermidor / mustard jus, Brussels sprouts, lardons is very rarely seen on any menus today and was prepared very nicely.
Profiteroles / caramel ice cream, hazelnuts, chocolate sauce Very mediocre as was the two cappuccinos.
With tip the cost was $183. This restaurant is too inconsistent and certainly too expensive for the food served

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2015

Every dishes taste good and nice service, especially Duck a L'orange is exquisite roast. The best duck I have ever had. The combination with turnip likes some Japanese cuisine (Japanese traditional dish, Jibini), mild and comfort taste. Thank you!

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5.0Dined on November 25, 2015

I love this place. It has a great atmosphere and really wonderful food. Also, the country bread they bake there is amazing!

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4.0Dined on November 14, 2015

I have eaten here a few times. I like it. The establishment cares about the food and it is a reasonable size. Therefore there does not have to be the clinical precision of cooking identically sized pieces of food and placing it on to plates at X degrees because they know that in the 4.45 minutes the food takes to get to the table it will continue took by...... you get it. So eat here and enjoy. Always great oysters

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5.0Dined on November 4, 2015

The food was exceptional, the appetizer was delicious but the best was the duck, always the best.

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2.0Dined on October 18, 2015

this has been one of our go-to places in the neighborhood since they opened and the food has always been excellent. not last night. we both got pasta which was undercooked and served and something i can only descried as a glop of mushroom sauce. we just let it go and moved on to desert as we've always loved the profiteroles. they were stale.

the topping on the night was overhearing the chef tell one of the waiters that if one of the customers didn't like the food "she could just leave the f*$@!ing restaurant." a direct quote.

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2.0Dined on October 17, 2015

We had a reservation on Saturday night. The place was full, they couldn't seat us at a table, so we sat at the bar. The bartenders were too busy to speak to us for at least 15 minutes, and then we had to grab their attention to get a drink. Getting the menu was another ordeal.
I ordered 2 appetizers which were terrible and were not at all what was described on the menu. The seasonal salad was essentially only beets, 2 pickled mushrooms, 3 sprigs of frisee, and all on one side of the plate. I had to ask for some greens.
The roasted squash with duck prociutto was equally horrible: 3 lumps of tasteless pureed squash, with overly salty duck bacon stuck on top. Half the plate was empty, no other garnish.
The meat entrees on other tables looked well prepared, so I'm guessing that's what they know how to cook. So if you don't want to order a steak, blanquette de veau or tournedos, don't eat here.

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5.0Dined on October 17, 2015

Wonderful food, terrific ambiance, and stellar service! Highly recommend!

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3.0Dined on October 16, 2015

I'd heard great things about this restaurant and was excited to give it a try. We decided to get the tasting menu with the cocktail pairing so we could try more dishes. The cocktails were great, but every plate we had was just OK and left me wishing I'd skipped the tasting menu and ordered a regular entree (which did look delicious from what I saw people around me eating). Surprising since I would think the tasting menu would be some of the best the restaurant has to offer.

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5.0Dined on October 10, 2015

Over the years, this place has gotten busier and busier but the quality has not changed. Still amazing, in every sense of the word.

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3.0Dined on October 10, 2015

We went for the $50 prix fixe menu, which was a mixed bag. The first course promised to be beignets with fois gras and apple gelee - the former were good but the dish featured a large ice cream-like mass which the waiter said was a deconstructed fois gras. Too sweet. Then a duck egg, which was interesting but different members of our party got uneven levels of runniness. The fish, an arctic char, was delicious, as was the main course, lamb. The dessert was very forgettable. No restaurant in Paris would have ever served something that mediocre for dessert (chocolate chip Madeleine with ice cream). It's a pleasant restaurant and decent for the money, but just good, not excellent.

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1.0Dined on October 10, 2015

When Le Philosophe arrived on the scene a few years ago, it was a welcome addition to the dining options in the Village, not least because of its outstanding (and reasonably priced) wine list and its solid bistro fare. Alas, the shine has come off. On a recent visit, service was slapdash and the kitchen was stretched despite the restaurant only being half full. To illustrate, waiters were busy all evening chatting with each other at the bar rather than taking orders, delivering bottles to tables, or looking after customers; the wait between courses stretched to nearly an hour; and the food was bland and insipid. (We particularly regret ordering the frog legs, which were most likely cooked from frozen rather than fresh and tasted like protein mush of undecipherable origin.) The one redeeming feature remains the wine list. Maybe Le Philosophe should turn itself into a wine bar. For food and service, give this one a miss.

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4.0Dined on October 6, 2015

Food seemed promising and it had delicious moments but overall was nothing i would go back to

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5.0Dined on October 5, 2015

Le Philosophe was a great find. The food was very good, nice atmosphere and the service was excellent.

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4.0Dined on October 1, 2015

Sassy and funny waiter, was great when we were talking to him but took forever to get our check. The food however was phenomenal. I had the Blanquette de Veau and my friend had the Coq au Vin. Wonderful! We were stuffed so unfortunately did not try the desserts, which sounded so good!! Will have to come back w more people to try more plates.

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4.0Dined on September 27, 2015

We enjoyed our Sunday dinner. The restaurant wasn't crowded, so the atmosphere both charming and quiet.
The menu was interesting and adventurous but had very limited options for vegetarian diners.
The service was standout. Attentive, pleasant and they really knew the menu and how to describe the various dishes. I got the sense the staff really wanted us to have a really great meal and enjoy birthday celebration.

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4.0Dined on September 26, 2015

After and inauspicious start in getting seated, the food and service were excellent. Fun vibrant atmosphere added to the experience. I would definitely return.

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4.0Dined on September 18, 2015

French Bistro vibe with a limited but nicely representative menu choices. Dinner for 2 includec appetizers (moules - small mussels but very flavorful and the gravy should be kept throughout dinner just for bread dipping; Liver mousse w/pistachio - lovely) Entrees of Steak Frites and Duck a l'orange (both cooked perfectly and tasty but I think we were spoiled by the great appetizers), finished with coffee and chocolate mousse (the chocolate sorbet with no dairy was amazing!) Good range of wine available. I would eat here again.

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4.0Dined on September 12, 2015

It may not have the vibe of the more known places in the neighborhood but locals and transplanted locals (such as us) find it to be inviting, great drinks and food.

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4.0Dined on September 12, 2015

A group of five of us went here for brunch and were satisfied. The food was solid, though not all special - their in-house brioche and foie gras crepe were great, but the duck hash was just okay. Service was very pleasant.

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4.0Dined on September 11, 2015

Went there for the Tournedos Rossini. Was not disappointed.

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4.0Dined on September 6, 2015

Reserved at Le Philosophe in response to their ad for a Labor Day prix fixe. Arrived, and it wasn't available, which was disappointing, since this was the draw. That said, the dishes were excellent. Duck breast was cooked perfectly, veal blanquette was delicious and not at all bland, beet salad yummy (but could have used a few more mushrooms). Desserts were great too.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2015

Service was great, friendly and knowledgable staff. Food was delicious from start to finish- nothing was left behind. Duck l'orange & coq au vin were cooked to perfection, we also had frog legs for the first time and although everyone says it tastes like chicken we said it tasted more like swordfish. Would definitely come again and recommend this little gem.

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3.0Dined on August 21, 2015

The five-course dinner we had wasn't very good. The waiter was pleasant but very slow. He was serving too many tables than he could handle.

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4.0Dined on August 17, 2015

Great wine list with a lot of affordable bottles. I liked the appetizers. Service was attentive and friendly.

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3.0Dined on August 12, 2015

We've been enjoying good French cooking at Le Philosophe for over a year, and we have never come away without tasting at least one stellar dish. Occasionally there will be a mystifying error—last night we got a hen-of-the-woods that was served in a large, waterlogged mass—but we've certainly had more hits than misses.

Service is friendly and sincere but occasionally inattentive.

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3.0Dined on August 7, 2015

Extremely cramped, horribly loud. Food was okay. Way over-hyped.

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2015

Our entree selections of delicious duck and voluptuous veal rate top marks for a dining experience we’ll definitely repeat. The rice that accompanied the veal was exquisitely flavored as was the dressing on a crisp green salad. We started with a fabulous foie gras and had no room for dessert but we’ll be back!

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2015

This is one of those rare places where everything is just awesome. The food was tops, the service was perfect and the wine list, while not too big, had a wide range of options, all reasonably priced.

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3.0Dined on July 31, 2015

Went with friends for restaurant week dinner. The appetizer was decent with the chilled corn soup (not creamy) different from what we normally have here. I was disappointed when they had swapped out the wagyu steak on their menu to another steak which still tasted good but not incredible. The chicken was excellent but the black bass lagged behind in quality. Dessert strawberry milk custard was fantastic (blanc manger) was excellent but the souffle was just ok. Service was not too slow and timing of food was good maybe due to our dining time (8:45 pm). Overall good experience except the fact I didn't like the fact that wagyu steak was used as a bait (waiter mentioned the weekend before they had stopped serving it which means they only served it for a few days). The restaurant should update their menu and not giving customers false advertising.

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4.0Dined on July 31, 2015

Every dish was well prepared and tasted delicious. Nouille was my favorite, but the Coq au vin and Steak frites were not far behind. Will definitely go back. Encourage everyone to make reservations because the restaurant is a little small and a line forms out the door very quickly.

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3.0Dined on July 26, 2015

We were a party of four of which only one ate from the restauant week menu. The food was excellent but the service could be more attentive. It appeared that they might have been short of help. However, we definitely plan to return.

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4.0Dined on July 24, 2015

The brunch is very very good. The dinner options are less exciting, but still good. I will definitely come back doe brunch. The service is attentive and good humored. I've enjoyed all of my visits here.

Separately, We sat outside on the sidewalk and the people watching was excellent.

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2.0Dined on July 20, 2015

Went here for Restaurant Week dinner. I had the chilled corn soup (very good), the Wagyu steak (excellent), and the souffle (good). The raspberry milk custard was excellent. Service was friendly but extremely slow. The place is nice, but the tables are too close together that the chairs keep getting bumped into by servers and other customers.

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2.0Dined on July 19, 2015

4 cocktails, 2 came late, 3 small plates, mediocre, 4 entrees, the duck was cold and came late and a decent bottle of wine. The food was medicore, the service weak, the noise level high, cramped space and to top it off they wanted to charge $2.00 extra because one of the drinks was on the rocks. The excuse, "the pour is bigger on the rocks". Really? We are all well travelled, eat out 2-3x per week and never had that happen before. We had to laugh and had to leave. We will not return.

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1.0Dined on July 19, 2015

The food was very plain, i could make it at home in 2 seconds, it took them 40 minutes. It was so hot in that place, i was sweating. It is not the place to enjoy food or spend your lunch time!

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3.0Dined on July 18, 2015

Was miserably hot inside . Air conditioning wasn't working . Really ruined my evening

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