Perhaps the most featured restaurant on the series, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) once described Pastis as “the only restaurant that seemed to exist” late in season 6 during a particularly cold stretch of winter. It was the spot where her and then-boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov) spent some cozy winter nights, and in season 4, she also brunched there with her buddy the gay shoewear rep, Oliver Spencer (Murray Bartlett). In its heyday in the early aughts, Pastis was indeed a celebrity hangout, and one of the first higher-end restaurants to open in the then rough-and-tumble Meatpacking District. Some have pointed fingers at the restaurant for helping to gentrify the area. The neighborhood itself was a prime filming location for the show during its later seasons, as it was previously home to a bustling LGBTQIA and nightclub scene. (These days it looks more like a Dubai mega mall.) If we were writing this list in 2018, Pastis wouldn’t have made the cut, as it was closed for nearly five years while Restoration Hardware took over its former space and built a massive Meatpacking District store with a restaurant of its own. In 2019, owner Keith NcNally miraculously revived Pastis in partnership with restaurateur Stephen Starr in the space across the street at 52 Gansevoort (formerly Gansevoort Market).
Cheeseburger à l’Américaine
With help from restaurateur Stephen Starr (Upland, Buddakan), owner Keith McNally did the near-impossible in 2019 by resurrecting a long-shuttered restaurant on a Meatpacking block of impossibly pricey real estate. Most anyone who’s eaten at the revived Pastis in the last year will likely tell you that the cheeseburger is the sleeper hit on the swanky French menu known previously for items like steak frites. Reminiscent of In-N-Out’s mustard-brushed patties, the double cheeseburger is served on a sesame seed bun with the eatery's famed French fries.
The experience: Dining al fresco at a French bistro
There’s plenty of restaurants offering sidewalk seating in NYC, but grabbing a table to dine al fresco at a French bistro provides its own unique experience. In a city where constantly being on the go is the norm (even while dining at some restaurants), there’s a leisurely quality that comes with eating outside at a French bistro. Slowing down for a moment feels more acceptable, and watching pedestrians dart by can seem amusing from a less uptight, French outlook. At Pastis, bistro connoisseur and restaurateur behind places like the one of NYC’s most well known French eateries, Balthazar, Keith McNally brings French fare and Parisian style to the Meatpacking District. Dine on oysters, fromage, lobster bisque, steak frites, and more. The spot, which was also made famous by Sex and the City, recently reopened in a new space in 2019 after being closed for five years.
How to order: Reservations are available on Resy for indoor and outdoor dining. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash.