Evoking a classic Parisian brasserie, Balthazar offers a French menu prepared by chefs de cuisine Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson. With an extensive wine list, raw seafood bar, breads and pastries from its own excellent bakery, Balthazar serves traditional bistro meals from breakfast through late-night supper.
Opened by master restauranteur Keith McNally in the spring 1997, Balthazar is also renowned for its airy design being housed in a converted leather wholesaler's warehouse; over 200 people can be accommodated in the dining room and at the zinc bar.
Balthazar is McNally's benchmark, a touch of Paris in downtown Manhattan where diners can try the house salad with baby greens, fennel, asparagus and haricots verts draped in white-truffle oil; duck confit with wild mushrooms; skate with raisins and capers; the requisite steak frites; "Le Balthazar" plateau de fruit de mer; tender braised short ribs; shepherd's pie made with duck or grilled dorade ringed by roasted eggplant and peppers. Weekend brunches draw bustling foodies hungry for savory crepes, puff pastry stuffed with scrambled eggs (doused with hollandaise sauce), and French toast made with homemade brioche.