Many bars and restaurants on the Lower East Side have familiar elements: model-like bartenders in possibly ripped white t-shirts, waiters with Australian accents, a drinks list that features all “natural wines.” The clientele? People who have “creative director” in their Instagram bios.
We get it, you’re cool.
Excuse My French is not cool. At least not in that way, and that’s exactly why we like it.
The wallpaper is green and gold, there are still life paintings on the walls in gaudy gold frames, and the big ticket cocktail is a deep purple mezcal concoction that magically turns pink when the bartender stirs in the last ingredient in front of you. And wait, is that fake library wallpaper on the door to the bathroom? You bet it is.
All of this creates the weird, funny charm of Excuse My French. But the real draw here is the food, which is really good.
The menu is a selection of French-inspired bar food, which naturally means some meat and cheese on baguettes, but also a lot more. Both the scallop carpaccio and little tagine of cajun chicken are dishes we’d eat over and over again. The tapas-style food and the variety of dishes makes it a good choice for drinks or a date where you’re not sure how much you’ll eat, or what kind of food the other person likes.
Everyone we’ve taken here has left saying, “Huh - I kind of really like this place,” and we do too.
Sliced raw scallops drenched in olive oil, spices, and salmon caviar. This is a win.
It’s melted cheese on bread, and if the person you’re with won’t share this with you, you probably shouldn’t be eating with them.
An impressively tasty little pot of chicken with ratatouille and sliced almonds over quinoa. Comes in a cute little tagine too.
The menu features several meat on toast options, and we liked the iberico with cornichons on pesto a lot.