Chez Josephine

4.3
5113 reviews
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$31 to $50
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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.”

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

L’amour toujours at Chez Josephine! Three-course dinner, $88 per person+++, live piano music & Parisian ambience. Serving from 5 to 11 PM. Regular a la carte menu not available. Open for Lunch, from 12noon to 3pm, with regular lunch a la carte menu.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Sun 4:00PM - 4:30PM 7:30PM - 10:00PM
Mon 7:30PM - 10:30PM
Tue 8:00PM - 10:30PM
Wed 8:30PM - 10:30PM
Thu 8:00PM - 10:30PM
Fri - Sat 9:00PM - 10:30PM

What 5113 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
New York Area
99 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This was my first visit to this theatre district restaurant despite having lived in NYC my whole life. We went for lunch before a matinee. We loved the atmosphere; it does feel like being in Paris in the 1920s and I suppose at night, with someone at the piano, it would be very romantic (although possibly also loud). At lunch, it was quiet and peaceful. The service was attentive and professional. The food was certainly good, but not great and the wines by the glass not as good as one might expect from a French bistro. All that said, we will probably give this another try mostly because of the atmosphere and service.

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CO
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, cocktails and food. Five of us all enjoyed different meals and sides, all delicious and well portioned. Only slight is on the Brussels sprouts; they were nothing special. The atmosphere is amazing.

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P
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Limited menu, but food was very good. Service is average. All servers need to learn how to pour wine and water without spilling it!

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l
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have had dinner here 3 times and have enthusiastically recommended this place to others. Food and service are excellent. Decor and Ambiance are beautiful. Piano players are extremely talented and fabulous. They play wondeful music without interfering with guests’ conversations. We also had Saturday brunch here a week ago. While the food was delicious, the brunch servers were slow, disorganized, and completely inattentive. There were only a few other guests while we were there. so it’s not like they were busy. Had that been my first time dining here, I might not have returned. Hopefully it was a one-time occurrence, because we really love this place and will definitely be back.

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VI
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Chez Josephine, Manuel always welcomes us with such grace. Thank you to all the staff and our waiter Rudy. They are amazing !! See you soon .

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VL
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place with delicious food, great service and live music!

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CR
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Fabulous spot you really get the feel of the amazing life of Josephine Baker. As a fan of the dancer, model, civil rights leader and icon it was so lovely to take in the beautiful art with piano playing in the background while enjoying really good comfort food and delicious wine. Would definitely recommend.

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AR
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great pretheatre

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good! Happy to come here again for my birthday!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is a beautiful rich sexy space with tons of history on the walls. When you walk in they make you feel like family.

The service is really the most perfect i have experienced, period. They anticipate your needs, know their menus inside out, and things appear on the table with you noticing anyone was there!

The food is superb and you can eat light or heavy depending on your choices, but always delicious.

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MH
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Well worth the price (not overly expensive)

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration. Wonderful attention, staff sang happy birthday with piano man !

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IG
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was great as well as the food. They greatest us promptly at the door and seated us right away as our reservation was made. We have eaten there many times and we always enjoy going there Very centrally located to the theater district and a short walk from Penn Station.

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AS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing post-theatre spot. Great food. Vibrant atmosphere. The piano in the background makes for a unique dining experience at a place that’s a New York landmark to me.

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RS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was great! Loved the live music, but it was a bit loud. Decor is quite interesting.

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FJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place. Food. Décor. And, Jacques and Marie! Like Paris without the jet lag.

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MD
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistent excellent food and service. Great brunch and dinner. We love our waiter Rudy.

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DG
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful brunch live music is a great touch food is excellent always as is service!

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T
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been walking past Chez Josephines’s for years. I always thought it was great to have a restaurant named after this great African- American Icon. We were attending a play on the same block so I thought I’d try it. I really enjoyed the art work on the walls as well as the fact that they had her music playing. We went for brunch. We had the prefix special Eggs Florentine. We also had one of the best Bloody Marys I’ve ever had. Usually Bloody Marys have to be dressed up, not this one, it was perfect. I’d bring friends back for dinner their in the future just to experience their dinner menu...,I’m glad that it’s still thriving.

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JM
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meeting friends from England. We shouted them a great time by taking them to this restaurant. So cool, eclectic, different. The live music was excellent, the servers were friendly and happy and the food was delicious.

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RS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious and the servings were ample. Service was attentive but not intrusive. The only negatives were that the glass for my Campari and soda was too large, with the result that the Campari was too diluted, and that the menu could be a bit more specific about ingredients.

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FP
New England
27 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food, great service, great setting, loud relentless piano

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FR
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was outstanding and food was very good. Our first visit wont be our last!

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l
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

On my third visit at this restaurant I feel like I can write an informed review...eating here is always a delight.
Love the legacy and the spectacular old ambiance.
Service is slooooow though and specially if you’re having lunch you must plan extra time. Today’s waiter was a bit unfriendly , not the norm for this restaurant.
Slim pickings on the menu for vegetarians.
Overall I love this sensual island of retro and baroque taste so unpredictability located in the midst of one of NYC’s busiest streets.

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C
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My son who was home from college was taking me to see American Son as my Christmas present & Chez Jo is always our go to place to eat before a play.....was wonderful as always!

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TF
Orange County
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spent New Year's Eve with the staff of Chez Josephine and family. Was absolutely wonderful. The food, the drinks, the live music!

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P
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I had been to this restaurant previously and had a good experience. This experience was disappointing. We arrived to find a pris fix menu at $90/pp including 20% tip that had a limited selection. While the tuna tartare and lobster ravioli were good, the steak was tough and our guest, who ordered cod and asked that her serving be cooked 'well done' was served translucent fish. When she requested that the serving be taken back and cooked further her plate returned with half the original serving that was still not sufficiently cooked. Our waiter then tried to persuade her that 'this is how cod looks' -- bordering on rudeness. Desert was very good, but overall the experience of a ~$400 dinner for three (including a bottle of Domain Chandon that was overpriced at $60) was profoundly disappointing.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Nouvel an
Repas pitoyable assiette sales
Ravioles pas cuites dessert industriel comme la mousse de foie de canard
Viande correcte et prix exorbitant et je mâche mes mots
Honteux

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for New Years. Great delicious meal as always. Service top notch!! As always. Ambiance with a live piano. Lovely time.

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JF
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A fun restaurant at which to celebrate New Year's Eve!

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p
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly enjoyed every aspect. The place had a great ambience - interesting murals, varied menu, live piano music and attentive wait staff. My cocktail was delicious, appetizer of escargots were tender and yummy, salmon cooked to perfection, wine selection (by glass) was diverse, prices reasonable for the meal we were served. Not inexpensive, but appropriate.
Glad we were not seated close to the piano - that might have been too intrusive.

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LC
Miami
22 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, our food was delicious, the service was very good, the ambience delightful. We've been many times and will come many more. The friends with us will also make Chez Josephine a favorite brunch or dinner choice. Thanks.

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HK
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Charming decor. Have been here once before and was looking forward a nice pre-show meal, but this experience was disappointing. Service was inattentive (while waiting an unusually long time for food to be served, our 4 coffee cups were left unfilled, and we finally had to ask). Chicken cutlets were tough and chewy, probably left sitting while our other dishes were slowly finished. Chicken was sent back and replaced by proper food.

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AP
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

Armosphere was great but whoever is in charge of the food is asleep at the wheel:
1) the red wine was frigid, nowhere near room temperature. I shouldn’t have been so polite to accept it with a smile.
2) the green mixed salad came out of a bag, you know the kind you buy all prepared at the food store? Stale
3) the mushroom ravioli was uncooked and very mushy. My Mom is Italian, I know pasta and this one not done properly.
Service was great, same with the atmosphere, but I won’t recommend it with so many other great places to eat in NYC.

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KB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Chez J has gone downhill. The bolognese is not near what it once was. The cheese appetizers are gone. No one seems to be in charge, and although I used to go often, they all treat everyone like a stranger. Maybe that’s because these days, no one comes back twice.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Chez Josephine is an outstanding restaurant. You are warmly greeted at the door usually by staff with a welcoming and friendly smile. The atmosphere is a truly unique New York experience. There is nothing “cookie cutter” about this restaurant. The decor is colorful and rich, and there is frequently a talented piano player singing soft show tunes and Broadway ballads. The menu is also unique and my favorites include the escargot appetizer, apple tart and the sirloin frites. For the adventurous, the calves liver is one of the best. The upstairs room is also fantastic for private events.

Terence Law

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OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great pre-theater menu. Very reasonable. Skate and venison especially good. Recommended.

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BP
New York Area
86 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

As always we enjoyed the food, atmosphere and gracious staff. A real value in the theater district, convenient to Port Authority, Penn Station and subway lines. A great place to meet friends for a
tasty meal, conversation that can be heard and no rush to get us out.

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A
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Chez Josephine was merely ok. Food was bland and mediocre, despite an appetizing menu description. Skate fish would have been delicious but the oil it was fried in had an off taste. Dressing was distributed in giant mayonnaise-y globs on the endive salad. Boar pate was served on toasts fried in what tasted like oleo. Decor was fun but shabby. The whole restaurant and staff exuded an attitude of lack of care. We actually had a broken glass at our table when we sat down. When the waiter came by, he noticed and asked if it was broken when we sat down... like we had broken it in the minute between him seating us and coming back to fill our water. Overall not our best NY experience.

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m
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

The restaurant was packed with tens of people waiting to be seated. It looks like the restaurant overbooked. We got seated about 30 minutes late. The service was very slow with waiters not able to handle customer requests. We had to wait close to an hour between appetizers and main course. Food was OK but not great. Management gave us a free bottle of champagne because we complained. On the plus side the music was great.

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