Art Appetizer…

I rarely dine on the upper east side.

There are a smattering of excellent fine dining restaurants, but I honestly am not into the formality and ambiance that is pervasive in those establishments.

I was in search of an informal, reasonably priced, tasty Saturday night dinner as I planned an excursion to the Guggenheim.

Saturdays between 5-8pm is pay what you want at the museum.

I will never do that again.

Btancusi

I will pay double not to stand in line for 40 minutes.

Waiting isn’t my favorite activity, but we had four obnoxious lads from Uzbekistan behind us with parents who gave two shits that they bumped us a dozen times, screamed, yelled and were totally inappropriate.

I told the security guard who was manning the electronic body wand on entering Museum patrons that the obstreperous kids were packing…I wasn’t specific so It could have been glue, crayons, Ritalin.

Picasso

Also, think about this…why were parents taking young children to see Mapplethrope which was one of the major exhibits at the Guggenheim.

Waiting Line for Basquiat

The main exhibit, Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection, was boring and the real draw, Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story, had an hour long waiting line at the very top of the Guggenheim.

You had no idea about an additional wait until you were more than half way up the spiral ramp and literally fell into a long line of idling humanity.

Disappointed, we made our way to the Little Frog.

In my culinary search, I had unearthed a small French bistro on East 86th Street in the Yorkville section of the upper east side.

The Little Frog serves contemporary French cuisine from owner Francois Latapie who previously was the maitre d’ at Le Cirque and owner of La Goulue.

We made the long walk across the uninspired East 86th Street.

The Little Frog was delightful.

Our server was gracious.

Escargot

We shared garlicy, buttery, delicious authentic Escargots Persillade which was part of David’s three-course Prix Fixe $42 dinner.

The other choices listed were Artichoke Vinaigrette or classic French Onion Soup Gratinee.

His main course was a huge pot of fabulous Moules Frites in a white wine broth and came with perfectliy prepared French Fries.

Other main choices offered, a boneless Half Roasted Chicken Sous La Brique and Tuna Tataki Nicoise.

I ordered the Little Frog Burger made from Pat LaFeida blended meat, Cabot cheddar, charred red onion, maple bacon and Choron house sauce. It was fabulous served with hand cut French Fries ($22).

David’s dessert choice was a pleasant Creme Brûlée. You could also select a Floating Island or Mont Blanc.

I satisfied my inner Parisienne with Pastis and David enjoyed a red from Rhône.

Little Frog is reasonably priced, serves authentic, delicious French fare and is a lovely spot if you visit the MET, Guggenheim, Jewish Museum, catch a movie or reside on the UES.

Little Frog 322 East 86th Street New York City. Open  Sunday and Monday 5-9:30pm, Tuesday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday and Saturday 5-10:30pm, Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11-3pm. Reservations on Resy.

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