Croque Monsieur For Under 10? Oui! Oui!
Seth – fellow downtowner, lunch enthusiast, trusted advisor, and soon-to-be profile subject – made a really good point to me recently about midtown vs. downtown lunching: While midtown has the advantage in quantity, variety, and value of eats, downtown has some really terrific and beautiful places to dine.
More on this in general soon, but one place that’s just a nice place to sit and eat is Perle Restaurant and Wine Bar on Pearl Street near Broad. Much of the menu is over $10 and not Lunch’er fare, but I wandered in the other day and found a very tasty Croque Monsiuer for $8.
As commenters will no doubt point out–boy do those people keep us honest…–$8 is definitely not a bargain sandwich, but in exchange for the premium you get a very nice French Bistro ambiance. Check out the facade:
Pretty good right? But even better, what’s a French bistro without a menu chalked up on a mirror?
I haven’t tried any of the other sandwiches here, but the croque monsieur is excellent. It had a nice amount of ham on delicious brioche. It’s then covered with bechamel and gruyere and boiled until bubbling and golden. The bechamel makes it a bit of a gut-wrencher, but it also makes it pretty amazing. The sandwich comes with a small, but not super tiny, salad that’s dressed in a delicious vinaigrette with lemon and some kind of herb that my relatively confused waiter was unable to identify and seemed unwilling to investigate.
So Perle isn’t a classic Lunch’er spot, but when you are looking for a quiet, soothing place to eat and are not seeking a bargain, it really fits the bill.
Or, as the French might say, l’addition.
Perle Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lounge, 62 Pearl Street (nr. Broad Street), (212) 248-4848