Yes, I know it’s a formula, but for me it never gets old. Of course sticking the French bistro thing a la Pastis, Balthazar and Lucky Strike on the Lower East Side is somewhat akin to putting a wine bar on 116th street. It’s not to say the neighborhood can’t support it, but to risk invading hipster central with institutional yuppieness definitely tows the line. Thank god I don’t give a crap about what people think. And thank God Schiller’s and its French onion soup, steak frites and reasonably priced wine list exist. I mean where else in this ‘hood am I going to be able to chill in relative comfort, surrounded by architected wear and hot waitresses while powering down delicious beef and fried potatoes next to couples and foursomes who bought their clothes not from a vintage store or Salvation Army? The surroundings will seem familiar if you’ve ever been to any of Keith McNally’s aforementioned restaurants, with its white subway tile, white marble and worn cafe mirrors, but like those places the atmosphere and food won’t disappoint. There was an amazing lack of attitude, and very casual, helpful guys taking names and controlling the flow of folks in and out. Our server was prompt and friendly, and the prices were really very decent. It seems like sometimes we pay a premium in New York to be inconvenienced, but Schiller’s provides what is quickly becoming the old, comfortable stand-by. [MF]
255 W 42nd St.