Cafe Luxembourg Fits the Bill

Sometimes, what you have wanted all along is right in front of your face.

Like that perfect pair of jeans that used to be uncool but are now “retro.”

Like that cute girl who lives across the street from you (hi, Dawson’s Creek).

Or, like the unassuming bistro that is literally up the block.

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Cafe Luxembourg is an intimate space on quiet west 70th street. It used to be quite the hot spot, but is now frequented mostly by well-heeled UWS dwellers and businesspeople. It’s a little staid inside, but very nice and perfect for a quite lunch or early dinner at the bar. That’s another plus – this place is open from breakfast right through till dinner. No need to worry when you get the “elevenses” and every other joint in town is closed.

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Fried artichokes with bagna cauda aoli

FYI…garlic and anchovies make anything better.

Darn it, now I bet you never want to kiss me.

These are wonderful, albeit tiny grease bombs. They are the good kind of greasy, where the outside is crispy and the inside is moist and you feel wonderful while dunking the slaty, crunchy bits in creamy, pungent mayonnaise sauce.

But afterwards, you might need a self esteem boost if you step on the scale. no matter, these are wonderful,especially when slicked with some fresh lemon juice.  This is elevated bar food, spiced with zippy shisito peppers and shards of fried parsley.

Lots of fried. Lots of good.

IMG_20131004_124324_479 Mussels with fennel, garlic, and white wine

Yes. YES. Maybe I’m just a mussel slut, but these are wonderful. The bowl is brimming with salty, oceanic flavor and tempered by a lemony, buttery sauce redolent of sweet fennel, biting garlic, and a few shards of red onion. I could barely stop spooning up the sauce…oh wait. I didn’t stop.

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Fries

Crispy. Golden. Hot. Salty.

Nothing memorable but something tasty nonetheless.

Cafe Luxembourg just fits the bill. It’s on the pricier side, but you do get some fresh and soft butter when you sit down, the service is excellent, and the food is just what you want it to be.

It’s refined, it’s comfortable, it’s nice, and it’s never too crowded.

It’s class meets comfort.

And, yes, it’s totally my Joey Potter.