Balthazar, the NYC Restaurant That Made French Food Cool, Turns 20

Published On 04/21/2017 Published On 04/21/2017
table spread at balthazar
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T he rose-hued light glinting off the downward-tilted gilded mirrors, the high-backed red leather banquettes, the patina on the walls that look aged with decades of smoke, the wafting aroma of snails in garlic and butter -- it all evokes Paris in a visceral way. So do the servers dressed in all-black with white aprons, some of whom say their uniforms make them feel they're in a play instead of a dining hall. But, then, Balthazar from the beginning has been a kind of theater, the play always the same and always different, on a set where 10,000 customers have crossed the tiled floor every week for the past 20 years.
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balthazar interior
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Frisée Aux Lardons | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Onion Soup Gratinée | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Duck Confit | Cole Saladino/Thrillist