Cafe du Soleil is the first of the Manhattan Valley Neighborhood Eats Series. Located on 104th Street and Broadway, this restaurant is a French cafe in Provence experience. The food there is awesome, well presented and reasonably priced.
On Food: The menu at Cafe changes pretty consistently (it seems like it changes with the seasons), which is refreshing because I love change and variety so it keeps me interested. Don’t worry, for those of you that like “the usual”, there is a main menu that never changes. I’ve had a lot of different options on the menu, from their moules (mussels) to their steaks to their salads. The onion soup is awesome, just the right amount bread with cheese on top and not too salty. In terms of steak, these guys know how to cook one up. I’ve learned over the years to always expect my steaks in the US to be overcooked. Even nicer steakhouses can’t seem to understand that a perfect steak is still red and reminds us of what it used to be – a sweet cow. When I order a medium rare steak here, they keep it simple and rare. Delicious. As for dessert, I’ve had less experience with, but my roommate swears by their cocoa vin, a ridiculously good warm chocolate cake with a orange wine sauce and fresh whipped cream. I’ve had their chocolate mousse and it’s so rich, I usually can’t finish it.
On Looks: Everything about this retaurant looks good. The decor is a French cafe-inspired theme, which can mean a romantic venue or a fun place to chill with friends. The staff there is super friendly and true to the French way, they never rush you during your meal (awesome!).
On Cost: Cafe du Soleil is one of those places where you could spend some serious cash if you wanted to. But for those of us with entry-level jobs (like yours truly), they definitely have deals. My favorite is Monday night steak nights, where they have steaks for $12.95. I can totally afford (and thoroughly enjoy!) that with a glass of wine from time to time!
Overall, Cafe du Soleil is one of my favorite neighborhood eats, which is the main reason I wanted to kick off the series with it.