Bistro Fare on Park Avenue, 24/7


Talk about latenight! L'Express is open 24/7 to delight and cater to the Park Avenue South party crowd. Situated on the restaurant row of Park Avenue, this quaint little bistro has been serving up French fare for quite sometime. Its décor and mood is typical bistro — French antique mirrors, red banquettes, and Parisienne fittings. L'Express boasts a wide array of bistro favorites to nosh on after a night on the town, try the steak au poivre, a simple classic just like they did in the old country.

The staff are knowledgeable and helpful, buzzing around with a"merci" here and an "au revoir" there — you'll feel welcomed. If you're not done after a night of getting soused, perch on a seat at the bar and sample the vast selection of French and Belgian brews. Otherwise park yourself on a banquette and settle in for some traditional and mostly well-executed grub. This unpretentious and affordable menu is hard to find in the city at 7 p.m. let alone 3 a.m.

There's a Bistro crab cake that's crusty and packed with crab and served with a zesty Harissa mayo, also try the fried calamari with spicy red sauce — honest and good. If you feel like a lighter meal, get the frisée lardons and poached egg or the arugula shallot and garlic confit salad. But let's be honest, late night fare is about grease, fat, and salt! You'll do better with the andouillettes moutarde tripe sausage with veal and pork French fries — a pure delight.

L'Express does some justice to simple bistro food, and especially late night cuisine. The roasted half chicken au jus rivals most. However the codfish en papillote with fingerling potato, leek, and shiitakes lacks taste. For the adventurous, venture out on les specialties Lyonnaise and order the pig's trotter crepinette spinach salad with whole grain mustard or a gamy but decadent duck liver mousse on toasted sourdough. The burger with Roquefort is the perfect way to finish an evening, a monolith patty of meat slathered with creamy, crumbling Roquefort — a great bite.

L'Express is a great place to cool the heels and enjoy an admirable meal surrounded by chattering Francophiles, model types and late night revelers. It's definitely worth a visit.