Chez Josephine

4.6
6091 Reviews
$31 to $50
French
The last of its kind near 42nd Street, Chez Josephine is a neighborhood gem founded in 1986 by Jean-Claude Baker as a tribute to legendary Josephine Baker. This Parisian bistro offers live piano music and a tantalizing menu in an intimate setting of red velvet walls, a cavalcade of chandeliers and a blue-tin ceiling. Guests receive a warm welcoming and are treated as family whether coming before a show, after the show, for a leisurely dinner in-between, or a drink at the zinc bar.

Chez Josephine draws a crowd unlike any other in New York as food critic Bryan Miller noted when he wrote: “The dining room is a confluence of the famous and the fashionable, the infamous and unsung – with every shade of skin on earth – and indeed you feel the magic of Chez Josephine.”

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 6091 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DP
DPatty
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely ambience. We went for the NYC restaurant week and ended up ordering off the main menu. The food was quite delicious down to every last morsel and filling. Of course we could not leave with out having dessert which was just as good. The drinks although good were a little pricey. I definitely would go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service1ambience3

foods were amazing. piano jazz was also awesome.
but service was rude and impolite. when my friend asked question about food he didn’t explain about it just repeat the name of food. during whole dinner he almost ignored us. left tips but totally waste of each dollar.
I will go this place again for foods and piano music but if I have this server again , will ask another person for sure.

J
Jason
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience2

It was quite a disappointment. I would not recommend to a friend. The service was ok but the quality of the food has deteriorated. The waiter confused the order and brought us the wrong food. Items on the menu were not available. I remember with fond memories the restaurant having gone there in the past. That is why I brought a friend who was visiting from out of town. But it was a disappointment. I won’t be returning.

B
Beryl
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I enjoyed the appetizers and desserts . The guy at the bar was very attentive. Service was good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food5service1ambience5

The actual waiter was lovely…however (and this is astonishing) one of Joseph Baker’s adopted son works there and he was so rude and nasty…made our table feel uncomfortable and unwelcome when we merely asked for more bread…so nasty!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service2ambience4

I came to Chez Josephine with my friends since we saw them listed on Restaurant Week. Before I came into the building, I saw they were rated a B, which is not bad but I noticed some of their interior was rather dirty like the curtains that were hanging and the carpets of the floors.
The bad thing about this place was that it took an hour to get our spaghetti but there were only what seems like 2 workers working. The service was really slow and it takes awhile to get the waiter’s attention. The food was pretty good especially the spaghetti and the desserts. There was complimentary bread and butter which was a plus. There was live piano playing but there was only one song that got played and throughout there was French music being played on the loudspeaker. The way to the bathroom is kind of creepy since it was a very dim room and a steep staircase to get up to the stairs but the bathroom itself was really pretty and unique. In total, we spent around 2 1/2 hours at Chez Josephine and more than half the time I would say was waiting for the food. The interior was also very unique and they folded the napkins into a triangle. Each table also had a live yellow rose which was very pretty!

AK
AlejandraK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great menu for restaurant week. Old reliable but now lacks the “old fashion classic” vibe.

LK
LaurieK
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Being at Chez Josephine's is like being in a charming pocket of New York, or France, with the elegance of days gone by, taking you to a much-needed escape from noise and grime of city life. Portraits of Josephine Baker, rich tones on the walls, well-appointed decorative touches, friendly and attentive wait staff, and live piano music, make you feel like you are at a special event, even if it's just lunch or dinner. The food is consistently well prepared and tasty. Duck with orange sauce over wild rice, lobster salad, crab cake, and other fare were all excellent straight through to desserts and coffees. Take a break and go while there's an open table.

NY
vipNYCguy
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2021
Overall4food2service5ambience4

The service was great. The food was mediocre.

Q
Queen520
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

It was a treat to be able to dine at Chez Josephine’s after such a long absence. The food was good as always, although the service was a little.slow, but understandable, as they appeared to be understaffed. Also we realize, like many small restaurants businesses they may be having difficulties in recruiting and hiring staff.

f
vipfallschurchmom
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were in the city for a show and picked Chez Josephine based on Open Table recommendations. It was everything as promised. Fabulous decor, impeccable service, fantastic food. We will definitely return the next time we’re in the city for a show.

JS
JeremyS
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Really great. We accidentally went on Bastille Day which made it even more fun and lively. French onion soup was amazing as was the lobster cassoulet.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service. Always my favorite place to go!

DN
DanielaN
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Really fun atmosphere and great food. Restaurant has live piano performances on the regular and had a special show for Bastille Day which was very fun! Service wasn’t as great as usual because it was quite busy, but we still had a really nice time.

JM
JessicaM
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved it here! A quaint but fun little place with AMAZING food and great music.

TK
TedK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

My wife and I have been here a few times, most recently for our anniversary. The ambiance is always great (with a bit of cool history), the food really good, and the staff and service outstanding. There was an excellent piano player as well. We will return.

RR
vipRobertR
Naples
6 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Three piece band (bass, drums and piano) started at 7:15 pm with wonderful medleys of Broadway tunes. We thoroughly enjoyed lobster bisque, duck breast and lobster salad.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great night of food and drink.

c
corkyo
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience5

It’s a wonderful place, but it was off it’s usual standard of service. Empty water glasses were left empty, finished plates sat at the table.
The atmosphere is usually wonderful and full of lovely pieces of history, but the service was terrible on a recent afternoon.

JE
JulioE
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely time and will be dining again soon.
A memorable dining experience.

E
vipEatingo
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I wish I had 7 stars to give this restaurant. First class all the way !!

s
vipshiv
Cincinnati
10 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food was decent.

CB
vipCyndeeB
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful. Fantastic food and atmosphere. Loved he piano player.

RA
vipRATEIT
New York Area
55 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chez Josephine is like having dinner or lunch at home. Service friendly and meeting the owner and Ms Baker's son was great. Love this place

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, excellent meal. Our server’s recommendations were spot on. Lovely pre-theater experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tahoe
3 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter recommended the duck and it was amazing. A wonderful, relaxed dinner.

MH
ManuelH
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Mediocre pianist

Report
SA
SherifA
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic decor and great atmosphere. Service was polite and professional.

JS
JamesS
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

What a cool funky place to eat in the theater district! Go every time I am in town!

MB
MattB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Some of the most appealing menu items weren't available, but what we had was absolutely wonderful. Service was extremely slow and not remotely cheerful. But the food, drink, and ambiance more than made up for it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great from the service, food, ambiance, and overall experience! Would absolutely come again.

RR
RaymondR
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This spot is great. Kudos to the Piano Man... Great Food and Drinks

BP
BigPhilip
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a perfect atmosphere for dinner with the paintings and the live pianist.
The liver is always my go too - delicious.
Had fig, prosciutto with goats cheese for starters. Amazing

MB
vipMarkB
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Piano playing in the background. Wonderful dining experience!!

GJ
vipGJF007
Tampa
40 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a wonderful time, with the best food and service.
Andy was a terrific waiter/server.
Cannot wait to return.

PF
vipPigsFly
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Magnificent evening — wonderful meal, lovely piano music. Attentive staff. Superlative wine list.

DK
vipDanielKF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Patrons who may have fretted about the survival of Chez Josephine post-Jean Claude and post-pandemic can relax a bit longer. Chez Josephine lives, and Manuel continues to honor the legacy of Josephine Baker and Chez Josephine founder Jean Claude Baker, offering excellent service, the romance of the live piano, and delicious food.

The ambiance of the restaurant remains wonderful. Last night, Dennis was at the piano, terrific on the ivories and with a sweet voice. There were a dozen (mostly former) Broadway performers eating together at a nearby table--we always ask to be seated near the piano--who joined in beautifully on a few of Dennis's Great American Songbook standards.

Food remains very good. We started with two appetizers, a watermelon with feta cheese salad and a lovely dish of goat cheese, figs, and prosciutto. My wife's filet mignon au poivre was excellent, as was my whole lobster salad. Chocolate mousse cake (hers) and fresh seasonal berries (mine) topped off a lovely occasion.

We miss the monkey and palm tree that used to be suspended from the ceiling near the piano, but virtually all of the old Josephine Baker memorabilia are still in place--as is Jerry Baker!--and the small changes in décor that tone down some of the heavier baroque notes may well be expressions of a more modern, refined taste.

If you've never been to this romantic, fascinating New York treasure, you won't want to keep missing Chez Josephine: check it out soon. And if you haven't made it in for some time--since the lockdown or longer--we can report that it's as good--maybe better--than ever, that its fond ghosts Josephine and Jean Claude live on, and that you should get on in there and help Manuel keep Chez Josephine cookin'.

Finally, don't leave without checking out the restrooms. They are worth the climb up steep stairs to see--in the men's room (can't speak for the women's)--the framed posters of Josephine Baker in "Princesse Tam-Tam" and, with Jean Gabin, in "Zou Zou."

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, staff was attentive and super friendly. Life piano

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

A Guy sang.... He was great!

MI
vipMikeInOrl
Orlando
46 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful restaurant with great food, service, and atmosphere. Dennis is fantastic on the piano and provides an intimate, beautiful setting for a delicious meal. I go here every time I'm in NYC.

FAQs

Chez Josephine offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (212) 594-1925.

Chez Josephine is rated 4.6 stars by 6091 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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