Best French Cafe - 2006
Café de la Presse
Named for its eclectic newsstand (featuring imported newspapers and magazines, as well as a small selection of books), this cafe was remodeled at the end of last year to freshen the décor and combine the entrances to the lofty step-down dining room and its authentically Gallic upstairs cafe. Its downtown location is close to Union Square shopping and Chinatown browsing. One can sup here all day long: cappuccino and croissants for breakfast, baguette sandwiches or quiche for lunch, and a dinner menu of bistro classics (soupe a l'oignon, poulet roti, bavette steak avec frites). Weekend brunch features an array of cooked egg dishes (available until 2:30 p.m.), in addition to the always-available croques Monsieur and Madame, and a big salade Niçoise. The service can be a little distracted, and food might take a while to arrive at your table, but that only encourages you to practice la vie de café and linger. Don't miss the excellent chocolate mousse, chocolate pot de cr�me, or the textbook ile flottante, airy egg-white meringue floating on a lake of sweet, rich cr�me anglaise.