A steady stream of locals, phone-toting tourists and City College academics filling these well-worn wooden tables proves that this bistro has little trouble attracting a crowd. Floor-to-ceiling windows, dark red banquettes and quirky touches like vintage Gallic posters or football jerseys tacked to the walls lend a whiff of whimsy. Maison Harlem's menu plays around with culinary traditions, with results that may include a classic rendition of coq au vin with smoky lardons, browned button mushrooms and fresh noodles to garnish the wine-braised chicken pieces. Sticking to tradition, ratatouille is a sunny bowlful of diced and stewed summer vegetables. The tarte Tatin layers thick but spoon-tender caramelized apple wedges over outrageously buttery pastry.
- Les inspecteurs du guide MICHELIN